Essential FATS

Fats and oils contain many different fatty acids that affect the body in different ways. They fall into 2 main categories- saturated and unsaturatd fats. Saturated fats comes from animal sources like meat, poultry, eggs and dairy. Plant sources are derived from coconut oil, palm oil and peanut oil. A diet rich in saturated fats will raise the blood choleterol level in the body.   Whereas unsaturated fats help lower the cholesterol levels when you eat them in place of the saturated fats. From unsaturated fats comes monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Polyunsaturated fats found in Omega-3 and Omega-6 provide 2 essential fatty acids that our body cannot reproduce on its own and must be obtained from the foods we eat. Consuming fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines as well as flaxseed, walnut and canola oils which contains Omega-3 help to reduce inflammation. Omega-6 tends to promote inflammation. Evidence have shown to shift the ratio of Omega-6 to higher intake of Omega-3 instead.

The fatty acids in Omega-3 help to reduce the thickness of blood so that the heart does not have to work so hard to push the blood through the blood vessels, prevents blood clotting which can trigger a heart attack and as well as lower triglycerides. People with arthritis have experienced reduced tenderness in joints and numbness. Fats are essential to give your body energy and to support cell growth that are needed for the transport of fat-soluable vitamins A,D,E and K.

In general, vegetarians often do not obtain enough quality fats and oils for proper nutrition due to their limited diets.  By avoiding animal fats, most vegetarians cannot eat enough of the right fats and oils to be as healthy as they could be. Vegan fats include avocado, nuts and nut butters, seeds, and vegetable oils.  Flaxeed and hempseed oils can provide most of the omega-3 fatty acids a person needs if one eats them daily.  One must have a tablespoon or more of the oils.  Lacto-ova vegetarian fats include eggs, milk, cheese and yogurt. I highly encourage all vegetarians to eat eggs and if possible, unpasteurized dairy products or sardines to get enough high-quality fats into their diets.  Otherwise, vegetarians are extremely prone to fatty acid imbalances, particularly a lack of Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, a fat soluble vitamin found in animal fats.

 

Esther Ong

Sept weekday 200YTTC