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FATS – GOOD FOR YOU? You bet your life they are!by Dave Foreman
Q: What is your most important nutrient?
I often use this question in my seminars when explaining to people the importance of taking a good multivitamin and mineral supplement.
A: The one you are missing!
Well, the same applies for EFAs. I often call EFAs the multivitamin of fats. Essential fatty acids are considered "good" fats. I consider them as important as, or maybe even more important than, vitamin and mineral supplements.These "good" fats are considered essential because our body cannot make them and therefore need to come from our diet or supplements. EFAs contribute to your health in too many ways to list here. Research with EFAs as supplements have shown to benefit most of the major diseases we face such as: heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, cancer and major skin health issues.
Signs and symptoms you may be coming up short on EFAs:
Aside from not getting enough of these good fats in your diet, there are other factors that may contribute to a deficiency:
Because the balance seems tipped in the wrong direction, I primarily recommend the use of Omega-3 fatty acids and not the blends of Omega-6 and Omega-3.
SO,WHAT ARE "OMEGA-3" AND "OMEGA-6" FATTY ACIDS?
Omega-3 and Omega-6 are scientific terms for two different
classifications of EFAs. These names are derived from the
chemical composition of the fatty acid molecules. Omega-3
fatty acids include ALA, EPA DHA. Omega-6 fatty acids
include GLA, LA,
and AA. Let's take
a closer look at
what these fats are
and what benefits
they may possess.
WHICH FATS ARE ESSENTIAL?
WHERE DO I GET MY EFA'S?
The most popular dietary supplements for EFAs are Fish Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, and Borage Oil. Let's take a closer look at each one. Some of my other favorite questions are listed below with my usual short but sweet answers.
CAN'T I GET ENOUGH FROM MY DIET?
NO WAY. I joke that you would need to eat a boatload of fish to get the Omega-3 you get from a supplement. (And you would probably have heavy metal poisoning along with the fish.)
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO WORK?
It depends on you and your needs. I often see results in the first few days. Digestion, absorption and dose will all play an important role in how quickly you respond. I would allow at least 90 days to fully experience the benefits of EFAs.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?
Possibly.The more common reactions are digestive. These are fats and therefore I recommend using a digestive enzyme that contains lipase along with your supplement(s).
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FISH OIL AND FLAX SEED OIL?
There are numerous differences (some are listed in the chart on page 6). The most significant and the reason I take a fish oil supplement is: not all of us convert ALA into EPA and DHA. For me, DHA is important. Even if the body converts the ALA to EPA, it still has to make DHA. Since we are unaware of who is able to make the conversion, I use caution and take a fish oil to assure I am getting the EPA and DHA my body needs. I truly believe the reason we face so many epidemic health challenges is the lack of these key nutrients.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR WHEN PURCHASING FISH OIL?
SO,WHAT DO YOU TAKE DAVE?
With regards to fish oil, I take Coromega® and my children are currently using Nordic Naturals Children's DHA. My reasoning is simple for the kids; they prefer the taste of the capsules and can swallow them with ease. I trust the quality and integrity of the company and product and have no hesitation using it with my children. As for Coromega, I find it to be the only supplement that has everything I want in a fish oil supplement. It even comes in individual serving packets so the oil stays fresh until it enters my mouth.