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Another Great Reason to Focus on “Good” Fats!

Let’s face it fat has gotten a bad wrap over the years.

It’s true, some fats can harm health but the reverse is also true—there are specific fats that are absolutely critical to enhancing health and reducing risk of illness. These fats are aptly named essential fatty acids with the most important category being omega-3 oils.

Most Americans eat way too much of the omega-6 oils found in meats and most vegetable oils which can result in a relative deficiency of the essential omega-3 oils. This imbalance of fats can negatively harm health; whereas the opposite scenario of getting enough omega-3s can have a very positive impact on health.

Particularly important are the two long chain omega-3 fatty acids known as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA). These essential fats are required for key biological processes in the body; however, these fats cannot be manufactured in the body so they must come from the diet.

When it comes to diet, here is a list of good fats to focus on and bad fats to avoid:

GOOD FATS

  • Monounsaturated fats
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Olive, avocado, canola and macadamia oils
  • Sunflower (high oleic only)
  • Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil
  • Walnuts and Chia seeds
  • Canola, coconut and hemp seed oil
  • Coldwater fish (mackerel, tuna, etc)
  • Grass-fed meat and dairy
  • Organic, free-range chicken/eggs
  • Organic, free-range chicken/eggs

BAD FATS

  • Trans fats
  • Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil
  • Shortening
  • Margarine
  • Most vegetable oils
  • Fried foods
  • Charbroiled meat
  • High-fat meat and dairy
  • Grain- or soy-fed meat and dairy
  • Conventionally raised chicken and eggs
  • Farmed salmon

In addition to this list of good fat foods, using a high quality fish oil supplement can also help enhance dietary essential fatty acid content.

With all of the benefits that come from a diet that focuses on omega-3 fatty acids, it’s not surprising that our internal endocannabinoid system (ECS) also requires these good fats to function properly. Simply stated, without the right type of fats in their membranes, cells do not function properly and neither will the ECS.

Remember, the ECS is that 600-million-year-old healing system that is critical to the regulation and proper function of a wide range of body processes. Think of the ECS as the body’s internal master conductor constantly sending chemical messages and triggering biological actions that are critical to optimal health. When our ECS is functioning at its peak, so are we. And to get peak performance out of the ECS, it’s important to focus on good fats in the diet and consider taking a high quality fish oil supplement daily. Feed your ECS with the right fat and it will serve you well!

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