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Essential Fatty Acids and Alternative Health Products

We always hear the media squawking about how fat is bad for your health, and that we avoid it at all costs. What's often overlooked are the roles that essential fatty acids (EFAs) play in health. This type of fat is actually good for you! So the question to ask yourself when eating a "fatty" food is, "Does this food contain good fat or bad fat?"

What's the difference?

Bad fat is often referred to as saturated or trans fat. These types of fat can raise the cholesterol levels in your blood substantially, causing clogged arteries. Of course, some fat is needed to maintain a healthy, balanced diet, but it's wise to eat fat in moderation with a good portion of fruits and vegetables. Saturated fat is found in meat, cream, butter, ice cream, and other foods containing animal fat. Trans fat is man-made and found in some margarines.

EFAs, or good fat, are not produced by the body but are found in certain foods. Unsaturated fats should be the primary type of fat consumed in a balanced diet. These types of fat actually reduce the risk of clogged arteries. Olive oil, canola oil and sesame oils, nuts, and avocado contain monounsaturated fat. Flaxseed, soybeans, corn oil, tub margarine, sunflower seeds, safflower oil, cottonseed, sunflower oil and seafood contain polyunsaturated fat.

Omega-3 fats are found in cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines. These can lower the levels of "bad fats" in the body and reduce the risk of blood clots that affect the brain and heart. These are also considered to be beneficial for eyesight and brain development as well as heart health in children.

How to Increase Good Fats in Your Diet

There are several ways to increase your intake of good fats. Add healthy oils to your food while cooking, such as canola, olive or sunflower oil. These should be used instead of animal-based oils such as lard. You can easily use healthy oils to saute, bake or fry foods without destroying the nutritional value.

A simple way to make baked chicken, for instance, is to drizzle canola oil over boneless, skinless chicken breasts along with salt and pepper and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Flip the chicken once and add more oil if necessary to prevent drying. This makes a delicious main dish that's healthy for the entire family. The canola oil keeps the chicken moist and tasty while cooking!

Another example is to add canola oil and/or healthy canola-based butter along with veggies such as baby red potatoes (bite size pieces), broccoli and onion in a casserole dish. Add a touch of garlic salt, and roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally and add more oil if necessary). These are just two examples of how you can make meals healthier with essential oils.

Also, add cold-water fish to your diet. Opt for baked salmon patties instead of beef burgers. Eat tuna sandwiches for lunch a couple of days per week. Or make a tuna, rice and cheese casserole with cream of chicken! Kids often love these foods, and they are healthy for them too.

Avoid packaged foods, which often contain unhealthy portions of bad fat, sodium and/or sugar. Create your menu with "healthy fats" in mind. It's easier than you think!

Alternative Health Products with Essential Fatty Acids

Another way to add healthy fats to your diet is to consume alternative health products or herbs that contain essential oils. Nutritional supplements such as Cerebral DHA, Max-EPA Marine Lipids, Borage Oil/GLA 240 and Efamol (Evening Primrose Oil) can help you add essential oils to your daily intake. Many doctors now recommend "fish oil" nutritional supplements to patients who battle high blood cholesterol. Alternative health products such as the Essential Fatty Acid Complex combine Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids for a healthy nutritional blend.

You can easily buy nutritional supplements online that contain essential fatty acids. Look for online stores that specialize in herbs, natural remedies and other alternative health products such as amino acid supplements that you can take to enhance your well-being. Start enjoying the many benefits of essential fatty acids today!

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