Complete Essential Fatty Acids Do More Than Boost Health
|Essential Fatty Acids||Darrell Miller||09/16/08|
September 16, 2008 08:54 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Essential Fatty Acids
A lot of people tend to shy away from anything that has the word fatty involved with it, thinking that it will cause them to gain unnecessary weight. What a lot of people don’t know is that there are good fats and bad fats. The beneficial ones actually can help decrease the desire for food and for harmful fats. Fats are essential to health, as they help to balance the body’s chemistry and provide padding for the vital organs in the body. Fats give a source of energy for body processes and also help with the transportation and absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K, which are all fat soluble.
There are three main categories of fats: saturated fats, unsaturated fats, and essential fats. Saturated fats are made of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules. The carbon atoms from fatty acids hold together in a chain-like fashion and they can attach a hydrogen atom to them. When each potential place for a hydrogen atom has been filled and there is no more room for any more hydrogen atoms, these fats are considered saturated. The fat will be harder or thicker in consistancy the longer the chain.
These types of fatty acids are found in red meat, butter, cheese, sour cream, palm kernel, and coconut oils. When someone has a diet that is high in saturated fats, these fats clump together in the body and form deposits that lodge in cells, organs, and blood vessels and can lead to many health problems like obesity, heart disease, and breast and colon cancer.
Unsaturated fats are called this because at least two adjacent carbon atoms on a chain are not attached to hydrogen atoms. When at least two pairs of carbon atoms are empty, it is known as a polyunsaturated fatty acid. The more saturated the fat, the more easily it will stay hard at room temperature.
Essential fatty acids are crucial nutritional compounds that our bodies need in order to perform many functions. They can be found in the seeds of plants and in the oils of cold-water fish. Essential fatty acids can not be made in the body, so they must be found in a supplement or in the diet. Many factors, which include stress, allergies, disease, and diet high in fried foods, can increase the body’s need for essential fatty acids.
Fatty acids are the basic building blocks of all fats. A fatty acid is considered essential if the body is unable to synthesize it and the only way it can be obtained is through diet. Additionally, it is considered essential if a deficiency will cause disease. A deficiency of fatty acids can cause poor reproduction, lowered immunity, rough and dry skin, and slow growth.
Essential fatty acids are vital for many functions including: lowering triglyceride levels; helping to eradicate plaque from the walls of arteries; lowering blood pressure; altering the production of leukotrienes; constructing body membranes; helping strengthen cell and capillary structures; prolonging blood-clotting time, which helps wounds to heal; helping the body manufacture hemoglobin; assisting in the manufacture of cholesterol; preventing the growth of bacteria and viruses assisting in the functions of glands and hormones.
Essential fats nourish the skin, hair, and nails; increasing the rate at which the body burns fat; helping the body maintain proper temperature; assisting in the body’s production of electrical currents that are vital for a regular heartbeat; and acting as a precursor to the production of prostaglandins. It is essential that everybody obtain good fat in their diet to maintain health, if one can not eat the proper foods, supplement forms of essential fatty acids are available.
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