Everywhere I turn I see an article on EFA’s here, a report on the benefits of fish oil there. I know that certain fats are important but could you give me a simple explanations of what EFA’s are, the best way to get them and how many I need in a day? Thanks Joe!
I agree that EFA’s seem to be all the rage in health news these days, but there’s good reason for their popularity. EFA’s are invaluable for their health benefits. In fact, they’re essential to your existence, hence their name
EFA’s fall under the category of polyunsaturated fats, one of the four types of fats we can consume, with the other three being monounsaturated fats, saturated fats and cholesterol.
As is also the case with essential amino acids, essential fatty acids are considered essential because the body cannot make them, so they’re a dietary requirement. Once we consume EFA’s our bodies break them down and convert them into a host of chemicals required for a variety of life processes. EFA’s contribute to the health of just about every organ in the body including the brain, nervous system, heart, kidneys, blood, skin, hair and muscles.
There are three EFA’s I’m sure you’ve heard of: Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids. Of the three, Americans are most commonly deficient in Omega-3 and therefore should supplement their diets with it. Because our bodies can produce Omega-9 we don’t need to worry about consuming it and because Omega-6 is found in refined vegetable oils, which are in most processed foods we eat, we should focus on Omega-3.
Assuming you’re in good health I would recommend taking two to three 300mg capsules of OMEGA-3 fish oil a day. This will provide you with 600-900mg of Omega-3 fatty acids, which should be enough to provide a wide range of health benefits to you.