Essential Fatty Acids and Our Health

There has been a lot written, and a lot keeps on being written every day about the fats in the food we consume. Some say ‘take fats’ other say the opposite – it’s all about saturated, unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. What is the truth?

For many years now, the USA has declared ‘war’ against obesity and as their ‘main weapon’ they use low fat foods.

And even though so many products are now low on fat, the average American is obese, and the UK isn’t far behind. Latest scientific research indicates that low fat foods can actually have the opposite effect and lead to gaining weight. So what’s hidden behind all this?

The food industry, which spends millions of pounds for the development and marketing low fat alternatives for literally every product was very confused when the information of these scientific conclusions came out.

Some years ago in one of the national daily journals in the UK published material regarding the latest scientific research, conducted in the University of British Columbia in Canada, according to which, people undertaking weight-loss diets and consuming processed foods, are more prone to gaining weight than those that take natural, unprocessed foods.

A renowned biochemist and eating expert from this university discovered that those who take care to sustain normal weight are healthier and actually lose a lot more weight if they consume foods with high levels of natural vegetable and animal fat, such as fish and vegetable oils, and not products low on fat. What is the reason for this?

Natural fats and oils contain those essential fatty acids (EFA) which we’ve heard so much about. They are called essential because they help metabolize food into energy and are vitally important.

Processed dietary foods lose EFA during the manufacturing process since the purpose is prolonging their expiration. Products that are low on fats also contain limited amounts of those ingredients which are necessary for our overall health, especially EFA, which in reality decrease cholesterol levels by metabolizing fats into different types of acids thus guaranteeing their absorption.

The importance of EFA for the psychological and physical health is not overemphasized. For example, a pioneering research regarding the influence of different types of foods on the behavior of a group of criminals indicates that shortage of EFA plays an important role with regard to their antisocial behavior. Even cases of dyslexia are sometimes treated with EFA. Scientific research has proven that the mothers of children suffering dyslexia have been taking very few EFA during pregnancy. Stress and the continuous cooking of the food destroy EFA and with processed foods EFA are virtually non-present. The intake of essential fatty acids in a supplement form can be considered the only guarantee for a healthy food diet, in which EFA are of vital importance.


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