Essential Fatty Acids – What Are They?

If you want to maintain a healthy weight, or shed unwanted pounds, you have to eat a balanced diet.

Your body needs to get enough of various different minerals, vitamins, and nutrients each day. It also needs protein, carbohydrates, and yes, even certain fats, especially essential fatty acids.

You may not have even heard of essential fatty acids (EFAs) before. I know I hadn’t heard of them until I really started to focus on my own weight loss and nutrition goals. But once I found out that they exist, I quickly learned just how essential they are.

What Essential Fatty Acids Are

To put it simply, EFAs are very specific types of healthy fats. Unlike some necessary substances, EFAs can’t be made by our bodies. So, if you don’t eat enough foods that have a lot of these special healthy fats, your body will experience a deficiency. That could do a lot of damage to your system. In fact, it could eventually even kill you.

Identifying These Healthy Fats

As soon as I discovered how important EFAs were I made it my mission to identify them and start making sure that I incorporate them into my diet. How Many EFAs are there? Well, it all depends on your point of view.

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is possibly the most essential of all, but there are also docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and a number of other Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to consider. All of them are important, but the thing that makes ALA extra special is that, after we consume it, our bodies can turn it into EPA and DHA, if necessary.

I quickly learned that Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are mainly found in fish, but AHA can also be found in canola oil, olive oil, and walnuts. EFAs can also be taken in supplement pill form. Some foods, like milk and eggs, may even have EFAs added to them.

MORE: The Best Weight Loss Pills

How These Healthy Fats Can Help with Weight Loss

There is strong evidence to support the idea that eating more Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids can actually decrease the bad cholesterol in our bodies. In other words, the healthy fats can help up to get rid of the unhealthy fats faster.

Another great thing about EFAs is that they can make your kidneys function better. That means that excess water and some toxins will be moved out of your body at a faster rate. That, of course, will help you to lose some weight.

If that isn’t enough of a reason to get more EFAs in your daily diet, think about the fact that they also help to speed up your metabolism. Think of your metabolism as being a bit like your body’s engine. If the engine is working at its fastest, it can burn through fuel faster. That means that you’ll burn calories more efficiently and, in the process, you’ll lose weight.

Essential fatty acids are also a great source of vitamins. In fact, cod liver oil, which is rich in essential fatty acids, has been used as a medicinal remedy since the 1800s in England, thanks to its high levels of vitamin D. Vitamins are very important in order to maintain your health, especially when you are trying to lose weight.

Cutting Back on Cravings

One last bonus of including more EFAs in your daily diet is that they can regulate your blood sugar. That means that you’ll be less likely to develop diabetes. It also means that you won’t have as many cravings for unhealthy between meal snacks. So,

How to Cut Fat – Reducing Dietary Fats

There has been a lot of hype lately about low-fat dieting and losing weight, and many people have started using the “all or nothing” approach when it comes to fat. Eventually, they cut it all and wind up with nothing on their plates, robbing their body of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and strong.
Of course, there are simple ways to reduce dietary fat (which will be discussed later in the article), but we think you should know that by not all fats the evil villains of your weight loss diet. In fact, your body requires a daily intake of fat for a wide variety of bodily processes.

Why is Fat Necessary?

Fat isn’t simply for flavor as some cooks would suggest. It’s a vital component to survival. Fats are one of the body’s primary sources of fuel, giving you the energy you need when your glucose levels are lower than normal. Not only do fats help maintain body heat, but they protect internal organs against trauma and abrasion. Additionally, fats are needed to produce important hormones.

4 Types of Fat

1. Saturated Fat: A bad fat. Saturated Fat increases levels of LDL cholesterol, making you vulnerable to heart disease and stroke. Saturated Fat clogs your arteries and can be found in animal products such as beef, cheese, milk, and butter.
2. Trans Fat: A bad fat. Also known as “partially hydrogenated oils”, Trans Fats are created through industrial processing, enabling foods to have a much longer shelf-life while adding that irresistible texture and taste we can’t help but love.
Unfortunately, Trans Fat also raises your cholesterol and is commonly found in fried foods such as doughnuts and French fries.
3. Monosaturated Fat: A good fat. Monosaturated Fats can lower cholesterol and act as replacement for Saturated and Trans Fats. Monosaturated fats provide nutrients such as Vitamin E for healthy cell growth and can be found in most vegetable oils, such as olive or canola oil.
4. Polyunsaturated Fat: A good fat. Polyunsaturated Fat cannot be produced naturally in the body so it has to be consumed in our diet. This healthy fat is necessary for proper brain functioning and can be found in fish such as salmon, herring, or trout.

How to Reduce Dietary Fat

Although you don’t have to cut every ounce of fat from your diet, most people tend to consume far more fat than they need to survive. In order to start living a healthier life, you can make these simply adjustments to your diet:
• Don’t fry foods. Instead, try roasting, baking, stir-frying, broiling, boiling, or steaming foods.
• Use nonfat cooking sprays when preparing foods
• Avoid full-fat dairy products. Low or nonfat cheese, yogurt, milk, or sour cream are better.
• Replace butter with olive or vegetable oils when cooking
• Flavor foods with spices or seasonings instead of butter
• Choose lean meats such as chicken or fish instead of bologna, pepperoni, or salami
• Trim away visible fat from meats
• Top pastas with marinara or tomato-based sauces instead of oils or creams

Trimming Belly Fat

By becoming more aware of dietary fats and increasing the number of fruits and veggies you eat in your diet, you’ll not only lower your cholesterol but reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. You can increase your results by exercising regularly to stay slim and trim around your middle.
However, if you’re looking to burn more fat than ever before, then you may wish to consider supplementing your diet with a quality dieting pill. Although it can be difficult finding a supplement that works best for you, an effective fat burner can help boost your metabolism and reduce the amount of fat stubbornly clinging to your waistline.

Sara Chastain

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