No one food can or should be crowned the perfect food. The benefits of any one product depends on the other foods you consistently consume.
I am sure you have heard the recommendation regarding fruits and vegetables to “eat the rainbow”. That “get variety” message goes for all healthy foods, including oils. Every food has a unique nutritional footprint. If you don’t currently consume hemp seed oil, absolutely start today! Try a yummy salad with hemp seed dressing, or put some hemp in a smoothie. If you are already biased towards hemp as your “go to oil” my suggestion is “mix things up”. Aim to consume a variety of healthy fats – try salmon, sardines, flaxseed oil, avocado oil etc.
If you were my client and asked “how nutritious is hemp seed oil?”, I would first look and see the quality and variety of the oils you currently consume. If I looked at your food diary and you ate a smoothie with hemp seed oil for breakfast or a big salad with hemp seed dressing for lunch and salmon and vegetables for dinner I would probably say “great – A+”. If you had that same smoothie and salad and salmon for weeks on end I would rethink my “A+ grade” and suggest you “mix things up and eat the rainbow of fats”. Net is, if you already consume large amounts of hemp, vary your oil consumption… try avocado or olive oil.
Can hemp seed oil be considered a part of an overall healthy diet? Absolutely. Hemp contains essential fatty acids and as such, has a myriad of benefits including minimizing post-exercise muscle soreness, improving delivery of oxygen and nutrients to cells, decreased inflammation, enhancing aerobic metabolism, and increasing energy levels and stamina.
Is consuming hemp a “must”? No. Many people are very healthy without consuming hemp seed oil. Now, including essential fatty acids in your diet is a must, but you can get those from other foods. Try chia seeds, fish such as mackeral and sardines, and walnut oil.
Also, be careful of any new “it” foods such as hemp. You can’t just add flax to processed crap – think muffins or sugary cereals – and then feel better about your choices. Adding a food rich in omega-3s to something doesn’t make up for an otherwise unhealthy choice. Aim to eat a nutritionally dense diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats such as hemp. Obviously, have a treat once in a while — just make sure the treat is an exception to the rule rather than the norm.