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Curb Cravings With Essential Fatty Acids

Nov 17, 2007
Essential Fatty Acids Omega-3 and Omega-6

Society has finally gotten over the "fat free" craze and realized that fats are important to human development.

In fact, there are certain fats called "Essential Fatty Acids" that play an important role in your body's functioning. These fats are so important that you should take extra steps to get them into your daily diet. These essential fats are found in polyunsaturated fats.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are necessary fats that your body can't make on its own. They must be part of your diet. You may have heard of Omega-9s. These are not "essential" like the Omega-3 and Omega-6, and are thought of as "good" fatty acids.

Benefits of Essential Fatty Acids

EFAs help support your cardiovascular, reproductive, immune and nervous systems. You need them to help manufacture and repair cell membranes. They help your cells get the most out of the foods that you eat and get rid of the chemicals and toxins that are in your body.

What Foods Contain Omega-3s?

Omega-3 is also known as Alpha-Linolenic Acid (LNA).

Omega-3 is found in oily fish, such as salmon, herring, sardines, trout, tuna, and rainbow trout.

Other sources include canola oil, flaxseeds, and hempseeds.

You can also find Omega-3 EFAs in dark green vegetables like broccoli, kale, seaweed and spinach.

What Foods Contain Omega-6s?

Omega-6 is also known as Linoleic Acid (LA).

Omega-6 is found in safflower oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, sesame oil, hemp oil, pumpkin oil, soybean oil and walnut oil.

Omega-6 May be in our Diets in Excess

Because so much oil is used in the North American diet - you may have an excess of Omega-6 in your diet. The ideal ratio of EFA Omega-3 to Omega-6 is 3:1. In other words, you should have 3 times as much Omega-3 as Omega-6.

Most people actually need to reduce their Omega-6 and increase their Omega-3 intake.

In all cases, you should keep your fat (and even Essential Fatty Acids) - to less than 25% of your daily dietary intake.

Omega-3 and Weight Loss

Omega-3 fatty acids are particularly beneficial because of the role they play in weight loss.

They help regulate your blood sugar levels, and help with cravings and excess hunger. This could contribute to lowering your risk of diabetes and obesity.

A recent study published in the International Journal of Obesity showed a link between Omega 3 fish oil and the number of calories burned in a day. The study compared the calories burned by a control group versus the calories burned by test subjects who received 1.8 grams of fish oil supplements per day.

The results showed that the test group burned 26% more calories each day. The researchers also found that the group that took the supplements experienced 50% lower insulin levels. Not only were they burning more calories, but also their bodies were producing less fat due to the fish oil. Insulin increases the activity of enzymes that store fat. Less insulin means less fat storing activity and less weight gained.

Omega-3 Supplements

Taking Omega-3 fish oil capsules is a great way to get the benefits of fish oil without eating fish. You can also use one tablespoon per day of flaxseed oil to get your daily dose of Omega-3. Adult men need roughly 1600 mg of Omega 3 fatty acids per day. Women need at least 1100 mg per day. If you're a woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding, you should increase your daily intake to 1500 mg.

While excess consumption of other types of fat can lead to obesity, heart disease and high cholesterol, essential fatty acids like Omega 3 and Omega 6 can improve your health and well being.
About the Author
Are cravings for sugar, salt, and junk food running your life? For over 20 years, Diana Walker, the Cravings Coach, has assisted people like you in creating vibrant health. Receive Diana's free TIPS at http://www.thecravingscoach.com/blog
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