Fats and Longevity – Part 3

Healthy fats are needed for good health

neufal54 / Pixabay – Healthy fats are mandatory for great health.

The consumption of omega-6 fats far exceeds the recommended levels for good health. For optimal health, we should have equal amounts of omega-6 fats to omega-3 fats – a 1:1 ratio. The typical American diet is 20:1, and higher in some areas of our country. Anything over a ratio of 4:1 omega-6 to omega-3 becomes inflammatory in our bodies. This extra inflammation impacts our health negatively.

Most people are unaware that omega-6 fats dominate the food industry. Omega-6 fats include safflower oil, corn oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil, walnut oil, and soybean oil. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish, certain nuts (almonds and walnuts), dark leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale) and flaxseed.

The third category of fatty acids (non-essential) is omega-9 fatty acid – olive oil. Omega-9 fatty acid has been shown to lower bad cholesterol, increase good cholesterol and control blood sugar. Our bodies do not make, nor do they need omega-9 fatty acids. However, there are good health reasons to use them periodically.

Our bodies can manufacture most of the fats it needs to keep us healthy. These are called non-essential fatty acids. Non-essential fatty acids are required for good health. However, there is an exception. Trans-fat falls into the category of non-essential fatty acids. Trans-fats increase the shelf life of products made with them. Trans-fats increase the bad cholesterol and raise the risk of heart disease.

Margarine contained trans fats.

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay – Trans fat is typically found in margarine.

There are some by-products made when fats are digested in our body. They are called free fatty acids (FFAs). FFAs occur due to the digestion of triglycerides. They can be used as an immediate source of energy by many of our organs. They can also be converted in your liver into ketone bodies – another energy source for us to use.

FFAs have been shown to reduce the levels of human growth hormone (HGH). FFAs cause insulin resistance and inflammation. Our fat cells store and release FFA. Obese people have more fat cells compared to the norm. As a result, obese people store more FFAs. Higher amounts of FFAs are common in diabetics. FFAs has also been shown to increase blood pressure and has other health risks.

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