04 November 2011

essential fatty acids

From the movie Shallow Hal

My disclaimer:
People talk "smack" alot.... and when I ask them to 
elaborate, they of course, can not. I am "just" a Nurse...
And this info is not (readily) available to us! Hmmph!
So I think we are all in this together... all learning; all beginners.

It doesn't do any good to parrot back info that some moron person posted 
10 years ago .... that some other moron person referenced 20 years ago...
That was mis-understood or mis-applied 30 years ago... etc...
This requires a new kind of thinking altogether!
The proverbial Paradigm Shift... applied now to our waistline.
And our health issues! And what goes on our plate - and what does not.

Starting at the Very Beginning:
What in the world ARE essential fatty acids?
Why are they so essential?
What foods are they in?

From Wiki
"Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are fatty acids that humans and other animals must ingest because the body requires them for good health but cannot synthesize them. The term "essential fatty acid" refers to fatty acids required for biological processes, and not those that only act as fuel.

"Only two EFAs are known for humans: alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid). Other fatty acids that are only "conditionally essential" include gamma-linolenic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid), lauric acid (a saturated fatty acid), and palmitoleic acid (a monounsaturated fatty acid)."

Just like there are Essential Amino Acids (protein)
[And NO essential carbs, by the way....]
There are but TWO Essential Fatty Acids.
All the other fats we eat - in varying amounts - cannot sustain life.
That is why these are called ESSENTIAL! (link)

OMG - I thought eating FAT was bad for you?
No - It is essential. Well, the essential fats are!
Diets that are too low in Fat and Fatty Acids will fail. Every time.
Because you will die. But only after you have been sick for a long time.
Only after you feel like Death Warmed Over. 
Only after you blame yourself for your diet failing.... again....

Fats also help process Vitamins A, D, K, and E.... we all know this...
BUT what does it mean - and are we applying it?

Eventually, all of us need to learn what this means. 
People on a Low-Fat Diet.
People on an Eat-Anything-You-Want-In-Moderation Diet.
People on a Plant-Based Diet (I was a strict vegetarian for many years.)
People on a Ketogenic Diet or LoCarb... or Paleo/Primal.

What is a low fat diet? Some "experts" suggest a range of 20 grams a day - 
for a calorie range around 1,200...  20 - 35 % of the (sadly lacking)  RDA.
Also known as the Lose-Your-Gall-Bladder Diet!
With numbers THAT low, we had better choose wisely!
Laughing out loud
I have done Atkins [not Atkins per se] for over two years
And my trigylcerides (link) are 46!! And I've lost a ton of weight. (link)
And of course, I am not a Doctor. But I have a fancy Lab Jacket!
And I Have a Functioning Brain - 
like Tom Naughton says, in Fat Head!
It's a great movie! (link)  I highly recommend it.
We can all do a little research and find out more.
Might be the most important work we've ever done!
And by the way, I fail EVERY TEST on those silly web sites
That say "Test Your Knowledge Of Fats!"
Because they use old, out-dated guidelines for fat intake.
AND apply the information in amazingly startling ways.
"Logic" that no human would ever (in a million cave-man years) conclude.
Crying face
So - read - but don't weep! Just learn.
Again - when I hear someone say "Fats are bad for you!" 
Or "OH! Omegas are SOOO good for you!"
I just smile. I was that same silly, supercilious person once, myself!
They don't know. We are all just starting to learn.

Come on. Let's go!


  1. Awesome way to break it down! Thank you for posting this.

  2. You are so smart!!! Seal oil for me!

  3. Yep. No essential carbs. I told my sister about that experiment where the dude ate only meat--including organs/animal fat for a year, and was fine. Try going for a year without fat/protein, see how that goes? ; )

    I fail some tests, too, but I know I will, because there is a lot of conventional "wisdom" that's not very wise....

    Of course, I don't believe in the perfect diet. Humans aren't wired for perfection. We're too flawed and too tempted. But like that Primal dude likes to say, if you eat well, whole, soundly most of the time, your body can handle some deviations and repair and thrive. But eat crap most of the time and..yes, sickness and premature death.

    Let's find a good path and live long and..heh heh..prosper.


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