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back to Health & Fitness

Essential Fatty Acids
by Jeremy Sims

The fats and oils in our diet are made up of chains of fatty acids. These fatty acids are classified as "essential" or "non-essential" according to whether or not they can be produced by our bodies. Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) are those which we cannot make ourselves and must obtain from our diets.

There is much evidence that modern diets are relatively deficient in EFA and that this can have broad implications for our health.

The two EFA of significance for humans are linolenic and linoleic acids. These are more commonly known as "omega 3" and "omega 6" oils respectively. Both are involved in a wide range of body functions and to ensure these are running efficiently we should try to increase in our diets the following excellent sources of omega oils:

 
Linolenic Acid Linoleic Acid
Corn oil Green vegetables
Groundnut oil Linseed oil (flax seed oil)
Nuts and seeds Soybean oil
Safflower oil Walnuts
Sunflower seed oil  
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HealthChat 2000
Dr. Sims is the Medical Director of FitStop, the UK's foremost group of health and fitness centers, and an expert on matters relating to fitness of body and mind. Having trained as a GP, he now works full-time in health promotion and has written extensively on the subject, including a monthly medical column in Mensa magazine with the TV psychiatrist, Dr Raj Persaud. Dr. Sims was the original Virgin.Net online doctor. Article courtesy of MediaPeak, http://mediapeak.com

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