I recently read Udo Erasmus’s book “Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill: The Complete Guide to Fats, Oils, Cholesterol and Human Health” and it opened my eyes to the truths and lies about fats. Udo Erasmus’s book contains a wealth of information, but can seem a little heavy on the molecular structure of fats. I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning how to provide the essential fats necessary for optimal health. What follows is a high-level take away from the book.
We as Americans have been sold on the false idea that fats are bad for us. It comes from the fact that we use harmful fats in our western cooking. We love our baked goods. The oil starts out healthy but is then hydrogenated to add shelf life to products. The other danger is frying which changes the structure of the fat making it toxic. These fats are bad for our bodies and add validity to the misconception that fats are harmful. However, this idea causes us to miss out on the essential fats necessary for proper body functioning.
The two primary essential fatty acids (EFA) are alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) and linoleic acid (omega-6). The body needs a balance of both omega-3 and omega-6. In our American diet we need to lower the amount of omega-6 and up the intake of omega-3.
The body needs EFAs for the following processes:
- Formation of healthy cell membranes
- Proper development and functioning of the brain and nervous system
- Proper thyroid and adrenal activity
- Hormone production
- Regulation of blood pressure, liver function, immune and inflammatory responses
- Regulation of blood clotting: Omega-6 FAs encourage blood clot formation, whereas Omega-3 oil reduces clotting. The ideal is to achieve a balance between omega-6 and omega-3 FAs
- Crucial for the transport and breakdown of cholesterol
- Support healthy skin and hair
Follow this link for a list of EFA deficiencies.
The book boils down to one main point that using EFAs is required for all the cells and tissues of the body to function normally. The added bonus is that EFAs can reverse degenerative conditions. Again, “Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill” is a great book on learning about healthy and harmful fats. The book lays out how the different types of fat function within the body, deficiencies, and the recommended amounts for optimal health.
Check it out!