Include Essential Fatty Acids in Your Diet

Discover how Omega-3s in seed oils and fish provide essential fatty acids for your diet that keep you healthy.

| November/December 2003

  • Flax seed and flax oil provide essential fatty acids for your health.
    Flax seed and flax oil provide essential fatty acids for your health.
    Photo By Fotolia/olya_dn

  • Flax seed and flax oil provide essential fatty acids for your health.

Learn about Omega-3s you can obtain from seed oils and fish that provide essential fatty acids for your diet.

Omega-3 Salmon Recipe

Salmon Tostada with Mango Salsa Recipe

After years of diligently filling the grocery cart with fat-free products, you may be surprised to learn that some fats are beneficial. In fact, studies show that the wholesale elimination of fats from the diet can jeopardize your health.

During the past century, when food processing was developed and became highly streamlined, many naturally occurring “good” fats were eliminated from foods and replaced with unhealthful hydrogenated oils, saturated fats and trans fatty acids, which increase low-density lipoprotein (“bad” cholesterol) levels. Researchers now believe that more diseases stem from consumption of too many bad fats and not enough essential fatty acids (EFAs). They’re called essential because our bodies can’t manufacture them and we must obtain them from dietary sources.

Why Essential Fatty Acids Matter

There are two types of EFAs: linoleic (Omega-6) and alpha-linoleic (Omega-3). Both promote normal brain development, joint lubrication and properly functioning immune and digestive systems, and both help the body use nutrients, create energy and cell membranes, produce blood, transport oxygen and regulate cell division.

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