Womens Health & Fatty Acids
Fatty acids are the building blocks of fat molecules. Fatty acids come from animal and vegetable fats and oils and are produced when fats are broken down in the digestive process. Most fatty acids cannot be produced within the body and so the source to come from food or supplements.
Fatty acids help move oxygen through the bloodstream to all parts of the body and help the cell membranes to function properly.
Essential fatty acids can also help the immune system to react properly. While we tend to think of all forms of “fats” as bad or unhealthy, it is important to realise that certain fats, namely fatty acids, are essential for optimum health.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut, other seafood including algae and some plants, and nut oils. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, Omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation.
Fatty acids can also help keep skin healthy, help prevent early ageing, and may promote weight loss by helping the body process cholesterol. More importantly, they help rid the arteries of cholesterol build up. Another purpose of fatty acids is to assist the adrenal and thyroid glands, which may also help regulate weight.
Omega 3 or the Fish Fat
Omega-3 is considered to be one of the healthiest forms of fat and is needed to maintain good health. The Omega fatty acids are all polyunsaturated fats, which includes Omega 3 & 6.
Since the body cannot produce Fatty Acids, they must be ingested in the form of food or supplements.
Essential fatty acids are required to maintain the health in the blood. They are also needed for proper clotting and to regulate blood pressure. Another important function is controlling inflammation in cases of infection or injury.
Particularly good are polyunsaturated fats from fish, known as Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Examples of Omega-3 Rich Foods
- Soft polyunsaturated spreads
- Dark green leafy vegetables such as dark cabbage
- Some nuts & seeds
Omega –6 Rich Foods
Meat, eggs, cereals, whole grain bread, baked foods, fried foods, margarine, mayonnaise and all cooking foods. Although the body needs both omega-3s and omega-6s to thrive, most people on a typical Western diet consume far more omega-6-rich foods (cereals, whole-grain bread, baked goods, fried foods, margarine and others).
It is important to have a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 in the diet. The typical American diet tends to contain 14 - 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids.
The Mediterranean diet, on the other hand, tends to have a healthier balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Many studies have shown that people who follow this diet are less likely to develop heart disease.
Examples of Omega 6 Rich Foods
- Whole grains
- Baked goods
- Fried Foods