Fats are crucial to our overall health and well-being. They are the building blocks of every cell in our body. Do you lack energy? Teach your body to burn fat for energy for longer lasting vigor. Achy joints? Consuming fats that your body can use to lesson inflammation can help decrease pain. Wacky hormones? Fats are the basic building blocks of healthy hormones.

Why Essential fats (EFAs)?

Fats are essential for our total body health. It is the preferred fuel source for the heart and brain. When the proper fats are not consumed in the diet, symptoms of inflammation occur. Examples of inflammation are hormone issues, infertility, blood pressure issues, feeling hungry all the time, and frequent sickness or autoimmune issues.

What are EFAs?

The 2 essential fats are linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). LA is an omega 6 fat and ALA is an omega 3 fat. They are also known as Vitamin F. The body cannot create these fats from other fats and must be consumed in the diet. Most Americans eat way too many Omega 6 fats and not enough Omega 3 fats. This imbalance in fats can cause an increase in inflammation.

How to get EFAs in the body?

Eat them! EFAs must be consumed in the diet. Yes, please eat fat, but the right kind! These essential fats are only supposed to be about 10% of your daily fat intake, so not that much. This translates to 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed, a Ω oz of pumpkin seeds, Ω oz of chia seeds, or 3 oz of salmon. It is a good idea to swap your peanut butter for other nut or seed butters because peanut butter is an omega 6 fatty acid and the other nut/seed butters are higher in omega 3.

Digest them! Another way to get more EFAs is to make sure you are digesting them well. The liver and gallbladder are the main organs that help digest fats. They need fat to be able to work well. If you are having symptoms of liver or gallbladder dysfunction such as pain between shoulder blades, stomach upset by greasy foods, nausea, pain under the right side of ribs, or dry skin, then some liver/gallbladder support could help. Easy support could include eating some foods that support liver and gallbladder function such as beets, radishes, and lemon juice.

Bad Fats

There are some fats that can cause more inflammation in the body. Those are hydrogenated oils & fats and rancid vegetable oils such as canola, soy, cottonseed, grape-seed, and sunflower seed oils. There oils will build unstable building blocks in your body and cause more inflammation and symptoms. These oils are found in most commercially baked breads, cereals, crackers, cookies, granola bars, etc. Please start looking at food labels for these rancid fats and start incorporating non-rancid and more healthy fats such as organic olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, butter, flaxseed oil, and nut oils.

Fats are a crucial part of healthy being. They make up every cell in our body and help other nutrients work well. While hydrogenated fats can wreak havoc in your health, consuming healthy fats can get and keep you well. Read labels. Add nuts and seeds to your snacks, smoothies and consume healthy fats in salad dressings. Cook your vegetables in coconut oil or butter. You will find that by eating healthier fats, your health will improve. However, if increasing fats in your diet makes you feel worse, a digestive evaluation at Faith and Hope Nutritional Therapy can get you digesting fats and their nutrients well.

Bob Mlynek