Benefits of Essential Fatty Acids

By: Ron Lagerquist

"Recent research suggests that a diet high in good fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids, can assist in weight loss."

 Essential Fatty AcidsEssential means a nutrient vital to cell life that the body is unable to produce; therefore, it must be taken in from a food source. Only plants can produce omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids; animals and humans cannot. This is why vegetarians tend to have higher levels of essential fatty acids than meat eaters. If animals have these fatty acids in their bodies it is a result of eating plant foods high in fatty acids. Salmon is high in omega 3 because the algae they eat are a rich source.

There is some fascinating information available on the relationship between a cell’s health and the types of fats you eat. Cell walls perform many vital functions, including creating a barrier for toxins while absorbing optimal nutrition and expelling waste. Chemicals are released by way of cells communicating with each other, a vital function for human health. The cell membrane is mostly composed of lipids, which are liquid fats, or fats that stay liquid at room temperature. Essential fatty acids are the perfect material for building and repairing cell walls, and they allow the cell membranes to be more flexible. This is vitally important for cell function and their ability to communicate with each other.

In addition, good fats produce prostaglandins, which the body uses to regulate vital functions like heart rate, blood pressure, blood clotting, conception and fertility. Prostaglandins also play a role in the immune system by regulating inflammation and assisting the body to fight against infection.

You may have heard that the painful symptoms of arthritis can be reduced by taking in foods high in essential fatty acids. I can attest that when my back pain and muscle spasms become a problem it is always a result of not taking in enough essential fatty acid-rich foods like almonds or hemp and flax oil salad dressings, or the result of eating too many fast foods. It does not take long for my body to protest, reminding me to slow down and eat right.

 I have said that maintaining a healthy body weight has more to do with the kinds of foods we eat than the amounts. There has been some recent research suggesting that a diet high in good fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids, can assist in weight loss. Now that I have your attention, it seems omega 3 helps regulate the body’s blood sugar levels; the result of this can help keep hunger at bay. Udo Erasmus, who is considered the leading expert on fats and oils, says omega 3 can increase metabolism, resulting in burning more calories.

Can you imagine eating unhealthy foods that hinder your trillions of cell’s ability to communicate with each other just because the food tastes good? This is precisely what we are doing and the result has been medical chaos in the forms of cancer and countless other diseases. We may not be able to taste the difference between good and bad fats, but to the tiny cell, fats are as different as night and day.

Read: Omega 3 Fatty Acids In Salmon 

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