Everything you always wanted to know about – Good Fats -


Fats from food have big influence on your cells.
Biological activity of every cell
– and its tendency to support or prevent disease
– depends on the sensitive balance of fatty acids inside the cell.

That is mean:



Essential fatty acids cannot be manufactured in the body, and must be derived from  food. So, we need fats to help maintain healthy weight levels. The essential fatty acids found in nuts, seeds, oily fish are all vital for the movement of stored fats out of the adipose tissues. All cells in the body have a fatty layer that protects them from potential damage, as well as allowing nutrients in, and waste matter and toxic out. This fatty layer is made up from essential fatty acids. If the intake of essential fatty acids is inadequate, the cell walls become more rigid, preventing toxins, such as stored fat from leaving.
There are two main categories of essential fatty acids:

Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-6 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, can be subdivided into three groups:

  1. Alpha-linolenic acid (LNA)
  2. Eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and
  3. Docosahexanic acid (DHA)

LNA – is found in plant foods, especially nuts, soybeans, canola oil, and flaxseed oil.

EPA and DHA are found in cold-water ocean fish (salmon, herring, tuna, cod, mackerel)

Omega-6 fatty acids, falls into three groups:

  1. gamma-linoleic acid (GLA)
  2. Arachidonic acid
  3. Dihomo-linoleic acid

GLA is found in small amounts in dark-green leafy vegetables, whole grains and seeds. The only places where is abundant are in the seeds of plants, especially borage, black currant, and evening primrose oil.

Your body needs GLA for making one of its most important natural defenders against degenerative disease, prostaglandin (PGE1). The problem is that the enzyme you use to convert the omega-6 to GLA is often in very short supply in your body. In part that is because you naturally make less of it as you get older. A diet high in sugar and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils also tends to suppress your production of the enzyme. The result is a serious shortage of GLA and an increased risk of disease.

Omega-9 fatty acids are monounsaturated.
They are not essential, but very important:

  1. Olive oil
  2. Peanut oil
  3. Nut oils
  4. Avocado
  5. Avocado oil

What Essential Fatty Acids Do?

Your body uses essential fatty acid for a number of important functions. First and foremost, they are used to make eicosanoids and prostaglandins, short-lived, hormone-like substances that regulate many activities in your body. Among other things, they control your blood pressure, control your body temperature, regulate inflammation, swelling, and pain, and are involved in blood clotting, allergic reactions, and making other hormones.

The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids to your heart are extremely well documented. They lower triglycerides, lower LDL cholesterol, discourage arterial plaque, act as an anticoagulant to prevent dangerous blood clots, lower  high blood pressure, prevent strokes, and perhaps most important of all, prevent sudden death from cardiac arrhythmia.

To be precise, fish eaters have rates of esophageal, stomach, colon, rectum, and pancreatic cancers that are between 30 and 50% lower.

The benefits of essential fatty acids go considerably beyond protecting  your heart and preventing cancer. Fish oil is a valuable treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and sclerodermia, Chron’s disease, colitis, and other inflammatory bowel diseases, skin problems, such as topic eczema and psoriasis; osteoporosis; mood disorders, particularly depression.

Fish oil is a very effective anticoagulant. Unlike the anticoagulant drug Coumadin, which works by destroying vitamin K and thus keeping your blood from clotting (and also incidentally increasing your risk of osteoporosis because vitamin K plays an important role in bone formation), fish oil keeps the platelets in your blood from clumping together to form a clot.

Getting the Benefits of Fatty Acids

In old times man was eating food rich
in essential fatty acids. Now since,
new ways of manufacturing oils has been
found, people consume refined oils,
refined fat, and refined carbohydrates.

To get the benefits of fatty acids you should remove the two major causes of a deficiency of essential fatty acids. First, you should eat far fewer  refined carbohydrates and more fish, and dark green vegetables. That means you will naturally get far more omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from your diet. Second, you should replace the worthless trans fats in your diet with unrefined natural vegetable oil such as olive oil, flaxseed oil and the oils of other seeds and nuts. This too will naturally raise your levels of the essential fatty acids and restore them to a more natural balance.

Just about the only way you can get extra GLA is from capsules of evening primrose oil or borage seed oil.

To make sure you are getting all the essential fatty acids you need in the right proportions, it is recommend that the average  person  take  a mixture of fish oil, and evening primrose oil, providing 400 mg each of the omega-3 (LNA, EPA, DHA) and omega-6 (GLA) – two to four times daily.
To get the most benefit from your essential fatty acid supplements, take them with a 400-IU capsule of natural vitamin E plus 100 to 200mcg of selenium.

  Copyright 2008 The Road to Health and Vitality