The Fats of Life

More than 90 percent of the British public may be deficient in essential fatty acids, especially Omega 3. Essential fatty acids are two of the fifty or so essential nutrients that the body cannot make and must therefore get from food. The more common signs of a deficency of essential fats are dry skin, water retention, lack of energy, impaired brain function, skin conditions such as eczema or acne, food cravings and a sluggish metabolism resulting in obesity.


But why are we so deficient? On average a person today gets only around one sixth of the Omega 3 fats as compared to the diet of 1850. This is partly due to food choices but mainly due to food processing. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) go 'off' rather quickly, so most food processing is designed to remove these vital nutrients and so increase the shelf-life. There is an increasing amount of evidence to suggest that more serious damage has been caused by the trans-fatty acids resulting from this processing. It is these processed fats that increase the risk of cancer and heart disease as well as making you fat. In fact, eating the right types of fats actually stimulates the metabolism and helps reduce weight.


        EFAs increase metabolic rate and energy levels, which means that we burn more calories. We should not count essential fatty acids as fat calories, because they increase calorie burning And, instead of being used as a fuel, they play a role in cell membranes and are converted into hormone-iike prostaglandins. These fats help keep us slim!


        Essential fatty acids help our kidneys dump excess water held in tissues, water that constitutes much of the extra weight in some overweight people


        EFAs help decrease cravings which often result from not getting the nutrients we need. Obtaining the missing essential fatty acids satisfies the craving.


        Essential fatty acids also elevate mood and lift depression - a reason why some people overeat. Elevated mood and increased energy levels also make us feel like being more active.


        Essential fatty acids play an important role in our skin, hair and nails They form a barrier in our skin aganst loss of moisture and thereby protect us from dehydration, a cause of many problems that invoive histamines, prostaglandins, and inflammation. The barrier functions of essential fatty acids also help prevent constipation and its related effects.


        EFAs make skin soft smooth and velvety and are an excellent internal, edible cosmetic. An adult usually requires about 2 tablespoons per day, but more or less than that may bring better results, depending on the individual. People also tan better and burn less. They get relief from eczema, acne, psoriasis and other skin conditions.


        EFAs lower high blood pressure and reduce serum cholesterol levels by breaking down deposited saturated fats and assisting their removal from the body


        EFAs ensure proper brain development and have been shown to dramatically help children suffering from Dyslexia, Dyspraxia (poor hand to eye co-ordination), hyperactivity and attention deficicit diency.