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Essential Fatty Acids - The Uncomplicated Story

This is an interesting topic because it has been the nutritional buzz word for the past couple of years with an explosion of products flooding into the market. The word fat has been unjustly and justly abused over the past decades and consequently we are sitting with a nation of people who are dangerously overloaded with the wrong fats and deprived of the good fats. Very few people actually know that with the consumption of essential fatty acids one can lower the bodies load if saturated dis-used fats. The truth is one does not really have to get into the science of what Essential Fatty acids are it would be far more beneficial to know what roll they play in the optimum running of the machine could you body and where one would find them.

Essential fatty acids are primary in the functioning of many processes in the body, from the structure of your neurotransmitters to aiding in the production of the LDL Cholesterol the cholesterol responsible for eradicating the bad cholesterol. Essential fatty acids play an important roll in the constitution of the cell wall in ones body. They help keep the processes that lubricate the joints in check and the list goes on. The big issue today is where do we find a natural source of these essential fatty acids and why are they not currently in the foods we eat?

Loads of the foods we eat contain the essential fats that the body uses and most of it is absorbed and used, the difficulty starts with the handling and cooking of the foods. Essential fatty acids are very sensitive to heat and oxygen and when over heated or exposed to too much light they are rendered useless and in some cases harmful to the body. That is why it is important to know where you can find them and how to handle them with out compromising their nutritional integrity. Olive oil is great example, we are led to believe that frying with olive oil is healthier than sunflower oil; at the temperatures that one fries our food both oils are useless and even toxic in your body. Olive oil is best eaten raw, stored in the fridge in a dark bottle. The same applies to curtain meats like salmon, which is very rich in essential fatty acids but cooking it in a frying pan with margarine will destroy any of the nutrients you after. One would rather steam the salmon with lemon zest water and herbs over a moderate heat, preserving the nutrients and the natural flavours of the fish and the list goes on. For a excellent list of foods that contain these essential fats I would highly recommend Dr. Udo Erasmus’s book “ Fats That Heal Fats That Kill”.

Other challenges with essential fatty acids are that there are an abundance of Omega 6 fatty acids in our foods and not enough of the Omega 3. What happens in this case is the oils are out of ratio to each other, which usually results in a deficiency of one of the oils, in this case the Omega 3, which is being over powered by the Omega 6. Don’t panic its not that complicated and can easily be rectified by getting a better understanding which foods contain which Omega oils. (See list below)

It truly is not a complicated process getting in the right fats and it does not mean that your life must come to a halt, as you know it. It probably will mean that you will have to change a few bad habits but the results are so phenomenal that the small sacrifice of ridding your life of old ways is a small price to pay for your health.