Essential Fatty Acids

It’s just a given, you know? To think that consuming foods labeled “low-fat” will make you healthier. Well, funny thing is, it couldn’t be further from the truth! Those foods are actually more processed, and contain more sugar, with little to no benefit to your body. A low-fat diet is very detrimental to your health. Not just your physical health, but your mental health too. That’s right ya’ll, depression and anxiety also stem from a poor diet lacking in fatty acids.

Sad thing is, this is longest living false diet out there, fabricated by Ancel Keys who wouldn’t back down from his poor quality nutritional studies back in the 60’s. His studies weren’t properly executed, and the research has a ton of holes in it. Even when he was proved wrong, he would conduct another “study” where he chose the countries he was observing (which should be chosen at random) to benefit his million-dollar idea- that fat was bad for us. Ancel couldn’t be wrong. He wouldn’t allow it. He decided his ego was more important than healthy human beings.

When you are missing fats in your body, you suffer greatly! Your cells need fat to properly function and support your well-being. Just a quick snip into what your cells do for you—while breathing, cells exchange good air for bad air, and while eating, cells produce enzymes that digest your food and convert nutrients into energy. In essence, our cells keep us alive and the only thing these little guys care about is you! Let’s learn about why we should care about them in return.

Fats should make up 15% of your body. It’s very likely that most of us in America have either too much fat or too little fat. We’ll blame that on “politically correct diets,” and how a burger is cheaper than a salad, and how my organic, grass-fed, free-range, raw, wild caught, (ETC), groceries for two are no cheaper than $160.00/week (hello HOW can the average American family with children afford this?!), but we’ll touch on that another day.

Let’s paint a picture- think of your exquisite body as a fire. To keep a fire burning, are you going to throw in logs, or sticks? Exactly. You’re going to throw in logs. Now imagine this- fats are our body’s slow burning logs! Fat is where we get our energy by helping our sweet little cells convert nutrients into usable energy. Fats are essential for vitamins A, D, E, and K to be absorbed, aka our fat-soluble vitamins. Without those vitamins, and with a lack of fat, your body does not function at its optimal potential, and cannot make adequate use of the protein you consume. You are likely to feel fatigued and hormonal, as fats are also the building blocks of your hormones.

Keep in mind you shouldn’t go out tomorrow and start eating fattening foods; you need to be focused on the good fats! The fats that are absolutely essential to our health are omega-3’s (alpha-linolenic acid or ALA’s) and omega-6’s (linoleic acid or LA’s). We should be consuming these essential fatty acids at a ratio of 1:1 to keep our body functioning properly. In today’s society, that ratio is way off. Just in store bought eggs, it is found that there are 19x more omega-6’s than omega-3’s. This is due to the chicken not consuming her natural diet. I am such a stickler on my free-range eggs because I know the chicken has consumed her natural diet, and therefore I am getting my omega-3’s in when eating them. Omega-3’s show up in grass-fed, or wild caught protein because they are feeding off of grass on land, or algae at sea. This is beneficial due to the fact that omega-3’s come from plants, so a animal being fed a corn or grain diet, does not possess omega-3 qualities.

Just as it is important to consume good fats, it is also crucial that you stay away from bad fats. Those bad fats being hydrogenated fats, partially- hydrogenated fats, highly processed vegetable oils, fried fats, and trans fats (which are a by-product of the hydrogenation process and are toxic to us; very little trans-fats come from nature). It is so important that you stay away from bad fats because they are not only toxic, but also interfere with the essential roles fatty acids play within a healthy body. They are the bad guys coming to attack the good guys! Unfortunately, these horrid fats and oils are found within pretty much everything, so be picky when choosing which foods to consume! You and your body deserve it!

BONUS: Examples of where to find your good fats!

  • Omega 3’s: Fish oil, flax seed oil, wheat germ, walnuts, hemp, pumpkin, egg yolks

  • Omega-6’s: Sunflower oil, sesame oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, black currant seed, evening primrose

  • Saturated fats: Palm oil, coconut oil, eggs, butter, raw dairy, animal fats

  • Omega-9’s: Extra virgin olive oil, hazelnut oil, almond oil, avocado oil

Lindsay ZisaComment