So what is an Essential Fatty Acid and why is it so important to optimal health?
Okay . . . so first . . . Essential Fatty Acids increase cellular oxygen uptake. The idea behind this is that when your cell walls are not made with the right fats, they are not able to absorb oxygen efficiently.
And if cells live too long in an oxygen "deprived" environment . . . illness, obesity and disease will surely occur.
So what's wrong with this Western diet we love so much?
Well . . . simply said . . . the ratio of Omega 6 and Omega 3 (Omega's being the essential fatty acids) is way out of whack!
Okay . . . so there's a ratio of Omega fatty acids that "must" be maintained for optimal health. When we're talking about Omega 6 and Omega 3"s, we must maintain a close 1 : 1 ratio for a healthy body and mind.
But. . . . because this Western world we live in is so messed up. The guidelines are set for a 4 : 1 ratio to give us a little wiggle room. However, we take that wiggle room and abuse it. Our Western diet has a ratio between 10 : 1 and 50 : 1. Meaning we eat way too much saturated fat, like fried foods and pizzas.
Now . . . Omega 6's "are" important for our health because they play a crucial role in brain function, stimulating skin and hair growth, maintaining bone health, regulating metabolism and maintaining the reproductive system. BUT . . . TOO MUCH of this Omega will backfire on you! And becomes detrimental to our health.
And now this Western diet that we consume everyday becomes one of total "unbalance".
For example . . .
1. Corn oil - has been reported to be a 49 : 1 ratio, with Omega 6 being out of control.
2. Canola oil - has a ratio of 2 : 1 which doesn't seem bad but because it's in everything we eat, it doubles our chances of disease and/or weight issues.
3. Cottonseed oil - 275.5 : 1 ratio, this is just insane!!!!
4. Grape seed oil - 696 : 1 ratio . . . don't you dare use this oil!
Okay . . . Omega-3 fats are also a crucial part of human cell membranes. They have a number of other important functions including: improving heart health. increase "good" HDL cholesterol, reduces triglycerides and blood pressure and the formation of arterial plaques.
Unfortunately in this Western diet . . . we don't consume anywhere near enough Omega 3's and we eat way too many Omega-6 fatty acids.
So what's the outcome of consuming too many Omega-6's? They can raise your blood pressure, lead to blood clots that can cause heart attack and stroke and cause your body to retain water. So the key here is . . . "Moderation". And nowhere in the American diet do we consume these 6's in moderation. Just refer back to the ratio's I gave you above.
So how do we fix this?
Be conscious of the Omega 6's you consume by cooking your own meals and using the healthy oils we spoke of in the previous Health Tips. And supplement your diet with more Omega 3's.
As always, feel free to contact me here