Essential Fatty Acids

There’s a reason they are called essential. About 98% of Americans are deficient in these essential nutrients. What’s worse is that we are flooding our bodies with fake fats that do our bodies more harm.

The low fat craze of the last few decades was wrong-headed and now obviously harmful to our health. It’s the trouble we get into when we try to fit dietary advice into 25 words or less. What we should have said was “Good fats are good for you, bad fats are bad for you – get them out of your life.”

The Good Fats:

My general recommendations are: Olive oil for cooking and flax oil for adding. Olive oil – get the best you can get – it is usually less damaged by processing than other oils you find on the shelf. Flax oil – this is rich in the Omega-3 fatty acids that we need the most – don’t cook with it, add it like you would butter – put it on your rice, baked potato or dip your bread in it.

The Bad Fats:

Hydrogenated fats are the worst – margarine, Crisco, read the labels – it’s in just about all processed foods. The food processing industry loves these fats – good for them, bad for you. These are fake fats, the ones that hurt you. When a study of fats separates out the types of fats, it is these hydrogenated fats that are the ones that cause the problems. They become integral to the membranes of every cell in your body. They have been linked to many problems – from hormonal problems to cancer.

Other issues:

Some people have trouble synthesizing various fatty acids. This can be due to heredity, age or medications. (NSAIDS interfere with a number of EFA metabolic paths) These people may benefit from other oils – GLA, fish oils, etc. The one I am recommending now is Total EFA from Health From the Sun.

If you want to learn more check out Udo Erasmus’ book Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill