Friday 3 January 2014

Essential fatty acids-EFAs

           It wasn't that long ago the word fat was considered a "four lettered word".  The ability to eliminate the fat from our diet would have earned you a badge of honour.  Cut the fat and you'll lose the fat.  But guess what?  We cut the fat and we got fatter and sicker.  When we slashed the fat out of our diets it became more difficult to lose the fat, our testosterone levels dropped, insulin function became impaired, muscle growth was slowed and we lost our energy. Trying to explain which fats you need, which ones you don't and how they can benefit your health and exercise performance is not a simple thing to do.  I'll give you just the information you need to know.
         Saturated fats are the bad ones.  You don't need saturated fats at all, but the typical British diet is rich in saturated fats.  Saturated fat is solid at room temperature and it's the crud that can lead to a number of health problems like heart diseases, cancer, insulin resistance and even greater likelihood of gaining body fat.  Consume as little saturated fat as possible.
         Unsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature and are considered much healthier.  Two particular types of unsaturated fats are considered essential fatty acids or EFAs.  These cannot be made by the body and are necessary for thousands of biochemical reactions to take place.  These EFAs are called linoleic acid or omega-6 fatty acid and linolenic acid or omega-3 fatty acid.  Ideally, linoleic and linolenic acids are the only dietary fats you need.  Cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel and trout are a rich source of linolenic acid.  Low fat fish like haddock and sole flounder contain insignificant amounts.  The best vegetable source of linolenic acid is flaxseed or linseed oil.  Good sources of linoeic acids include: canola oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil and soy bean oil.  Primrose oil and borage oil contain decent amounts of both.
          One of EFAs' main role is as a structural component of all cell membranes.  EFAs are also necessary for the formation of vital chemicals in the body called prostaglandins.  These are hormone like substances that play a role in an enormous variety of functions including: proper regulation of blood pressure, heart function, allergic response, inflammation, nerve transmission and even steroid hormone production.  EFAs have been shown to cause a decrease in total serum cholesterol and an increase in HDL (good cholesterol).   EFAs even help to accelerate fat loss.  EFAs also improve the action of insulin and enhance oxygen use and energy transformation for optimal performance.  EFAs are anabolic, anti-inflammatory and improve your health.  The easiest and most efficient way to meet all of your EFAs' requirements is to supplement with Udo's Perfected Blend Oil.

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