For a long time there’s been a misconception about fat. That is, it should be avoided if we want to be healthy. But over recent years there’s been a shift in thinking and it’s more widely recognized that there are ‘good’ fats and ‘bad’ fats.
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) such as omega-3 and omega-6 are some of the good guys. These fatty acids are needed for numerous biological processes in the body, and must be part of our diet if we want to remain well. They are classified as an essential nutrient as the body can’t make the nutrients from other building blocks, but must come from the food we eat.
When looking at our diet first we need to think about the balance of good fats vs bad fats in the food you eat. The modern diet is generally low in EFAs (the good fats) whilst being high in refined fatty acids (the bad fats) – also known as trans fats or trans fatty acids.
Once you have EFAs (good fats) in your diet then we also need to think about the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 which is usually out of balance.
Omega-6 is easily found in the average person’s diet because our diet is heavily based in grains and vegetable oils. But we are not so good at getting omega-3 in our diet.
For balanced health it is recommended to have about 4 times the amount of omega-6 foods to omega-3 foods (the same applies to your skincare too). But the average person is much more likely to have 20 times the amount of omega-6 to omega-3 in their diet.
Your whole body can benefit from eating EFAs, plus you can get lots of additional skin benefits by putting them directly onto your skin.
EFAs are largely found in plant foods so watch out for these to increase EFAs in your diet:
Some of the best sources of EFAs for your skin are:
And finally, in case you’re wondering why no mention of omega-9 fats, that’s because they are classified as ‘non-essential’ so we can synthesise them from other things we eat, and don’t have to depend on direct dietary sources to obtain them.
The key issue today is making sure you have plenty of omega-3 and in an ideal balance to other fats. Omega 3 essential fatty acid is truly essential for your health and wellbeing.
Ruth is a naturopathic Nutritionist, public speaker and Additive Alert presenter with advanced qualifications in Nutritional Medicine. Nutritional Medicine emphasizes that food is highly effective as medicine and that every individual has a unique interaction with food and nutrients. Quality supplements are also valuable as being a quick way to get someone out of a nutritional black hole and back on track to a beneficial diet. Ruth became interested in Nutrition when she was practicing as a Move to Learn instructor in Sydney to assist children with learning and behavioural difficulties. Nutritional intervention became quickly recognized as a key factor to help the child with difficulties and now this is an area of speciality for Ruth. Other areas of particular interest are food intolerances, stress and anxiety, fatigue and digestive disorders.
Consultations are currently held at Organic Feast, East Maitland 2323. You can contact Ruth on 0425 301 485.
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