I’m not referring to the fat your partner can get away with jiggling, be it theirs or yours, in a playful manner.
You: ‘I’m feeling a bit porky and fat today in these jeans.’
Them: ‘but I love your little squidgy bits baby; it’s good fat.’
Them: *clears throat and makes up some excuse to leave the room*
The good fat that I am referring to is the dietary type, the Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) that our body needs to go about its normal business. It is also the type of fat that has been blamed for many health conditions and has caused a lot of confusion when it comes to dietary choices. The term ‘fat’ conjures up the image of being unhealthy, perhaps from lack of exercise or from poor food choices. Therefore, ‘good fat’ seems counter-intuitive.
Some week’s eggs are good for you, then for years we were told by authorities that they are bad. Then we are told to, ‘only eat the whites’. Sometimes the message feels like, ‘only eat the whites on a Tuesday under the full moon.’ The same applies for the humble avocado, coconut, nuts and seeds and fish. We tend to be cycled through some conflicting and confusing ideas.
So what are EFAs?
EFAs are divided into two classes, Omega-3 (n-3) and Omega-6 (n-6). They are called essential because we cannot produce them in our bodies, we must source them from our diets. Both n-3 and n-6 undergo metabolism in the body and result in longer chain fatty acids, including the commonly known eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic aicd (DHA), which we see when we look at fish oils.
Why do I need them?
Both n-3 and n-6 get converted into different fatty acids, and each of them preform many functions within the body, including;
• synthesis of hormones, leukotrines, prostaglandins and thromboxanes • growth, reproduction and repair of skin and hair
• cardiac support and reducing cholesterol levels
• neural development in pregnancy
• regulating blood thickness
• reducing inflammation
Sounds good, where do I get my EFAs from?
Dietary forms of EFAs vary depending on whether it is n-3 or n-6 you are trying to increase. Most of us will already be eating our recommended daily intake (RDI) of n-6. N-6 is commonly sourced from walnuts, flax, canola, soy, meat products and dairy. EPA and DHA, or n-3 foods include; cold water fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, and halibut, as well as egg yolks. People who choose to restrict these foods have a greater risk of being deficient in n-3, particularly DHA. Whilst it is possible to derived DHA from vegetable sources, it is more difficult to do so in an n-6 heavy diet.
Need to take action?
Not sure if you need to boost your EFAs, DHAs or EPAs? Want to chat about how your acne won’t calm down, your brittle nails that break just from looking at them, or how your dry skin doesn’t get better no matter what you slather on it? Let’s connect! Book online here.
- Jenna Verhoeven
- diet, fats, fish, good fat, omega, tag1, tag2