The Truth About Fat
Fats are broken down into 3 categories:
1. Saturated fats
2. Mono-unsaturated fats
3. Poly-unsaturated fats (this includes Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids [EFAs])
Let’s take a look at:
Poly-Unsaturated Fats, Fatty Acids, and Essential Fatty Acids
The key roles that fat plays in your body are in the breakdown for their fatty acids and in energy.
Fatty acids are vital to your health and well being. Fatty acids are the acids that are produced when fat is broken down. Your body uses fatty acids to perform key functions in your body which involve the brain, eyes, heart, lungs, nerves, skin, hair, digestion, and hormones.
Your body also burns fat for energy. The extra energy that is not burned or used in your body is stored in adipose tissue. Adipose then protects and cushions the organs in your body. The “fat” that many people dislike on their bodies (in the form of love handles, big thighs, or flabby bellies) is not fat per se, it’s adipose tissue.
The human body can produce all but 2 of the fatty acids it needs. These 2 fatty acids are linoleic acid (LA acid), which is the “parent” fatty acid to the Omega 6 family) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA acid) which is the “parent” fatty acid in the Omega 3 family.
Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) . When the word “essential” is used in a nutrition context, it refers to something that body cannot make on its own and must find from outside sources – i.e., your diet.
Foods High in Omega 3 include:
- Flax seeds
- Cold water fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel
Foods High in Omega 6 include:
- Sunflower seeds
- Vegetable oils such as corn, sunflower, sesame, soybean, safflower
- Pumpkin seeds
And then of course there are Essential Fatty Acid Supplements in pill form – stay tuned for info on the doctor recommended EFAs to supplement your diet!