The Untold Truth About the “Good Fats”

Whenever one hears the word fat, one cannot think of anything other than obesity, health problems, high cholesterol and so on. From this point of view, solving all weight related problems seems easy; just eliminate all the fat from your diet and you will never be overweight again. But is it truly that simple? Fat is important to the human body; without it, skin and hair become fragile and brittle, colon problems develop, and overall health can be seriously affected. The problem is not the fat itself; it is the type of fat in your diet.

fat chemical makeup

What are the good kind of fats?

Over the years, people have been fed different stories about choosing the right foods for optimum health. When researchers warned that too much fat in your diet leads to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and a host of other health problems, people jumped on the low fat, no fat bandwagon with little success. If you want to know more, go to

New studies reveal that we must have some fat in our diet for good health and reduction of disease. The omega-3 fatty acids are said to be ‘essential’ because they cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained through our food sources.



Omega-3 essential fatty acids can come from either plant or marine sources. They can be obtained from fish and fish oil, unrefined vegetable oils, raw nuts, seeds and beans. Linolenic acid, the marine source, can be obtained from certain fatty fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon. These fish and fish oil supplements contain bioavailable docosahexaenoic (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic (EPA) acid, the two kinds of omega-3 essential fatty acids crucial to good health.

The plant based omega-3 essential fatty acid is alpha-linolenic acid (alpha meaning plant) and can be found in omega-3 rich oils such as flaxseed, canola, soybean and walnut oils. These plant sourced omega-3 EFAs cannot be made in the body like fish oil. They need to be broken down by the body’s enzymatic system into DHA and EPA before the body can reap its powerful benefits. Flaxseed oil, the plant source highest in omega-3s, is a great alternative for vegetarians and those who can’t tolerate fish or fish oil capsules.

The importance of Omega 3 (EPA & DHA)

As a matter of fact, taking these healthy fats also can relieve you of joint pains, reduce your cholesterol level, strengthen your body defenses, improve your concentration, sharpen your memory and help look better by alleviating dry, coarse skin and cracked heel, strengthening cracked or weak nails, and adding luster to dry, frizzy hair and splits ends.

EFAs are vital for the permeability, flexibility and integrity of cell membranes, which allow the efficient passage of oxygen and other nutrients into the cell for nutritional support, and waste materials out of the cell for proper elimination.



Red blood cells also require EFAs. When EFAs are insufficient, red blood cell membranes lose their flexibility, become rigid and less effective in transporting oxygen throughout the body, resulting in reduced oxygen supply to body tissue, the cause of many health problems.

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What is BMI?

body mass index
BMI is a screening test that adults undergo in order to determine whether they have a healthy or dangerous weight. In full, it is Body mass index, and can be defined as a measurement of body fat and weight in relation to an individual’s height.

How is BMI Measured?

As its definition implies, BMI is a ratio of weight to height squared. You can get your BMI checked by your health care provider who can interpret it well for you. Generally, the ideal range for a person’s BMI should be between 18.5 and 24.9. If your BMI is way below or above this range, it is an indication of potential health risk. A BMI test is however not a conclusive test and before a healthcare provider pronounces you underweight, overweight or even obese, they have to carry out further tests that are more conclusive.


What are the risks of being overweight?

If your BMI is between 25 and 29.9, you are deemed to be overweight. If it is between 30 and 39.9, you are termed as obese, and anything above 40 deems you to be very obese. Being overweight has always been associated with increased susceptibility to many lifestyle diseases, and the case is no different when the indicator of your excess weight is a BMI test.

When your weight is above what is healthy, your heart becomes overworked and this makes you particularly vulnerable to heart ailments such as heart attacks and high blood pressure. Additionally, having more fat than is enough for your body can make you easy prey for diseases such as type II diabetes, some types of cancer, kidney disease or even stroke. Moreover, being obese can make it pretty hard for you to be active, although this is not a permanent predicament, because there is a lot you can do to shed this excess layers of fat. More importantly, you need to remember that being obese is not a description of who you are as a person; it is just an indicator that you have more weight than you should and it should be a wake-up call for you to do something about that weight. Click here to see a way to combat this unhealthy BMI.

chart for healthy rangeWhat are the risks of being underweight?

Although being skinny is idolized in today’s world, there are risks associated with having less weight than is appropriate for your height. For one thing, being underweight makes you very susceptible to brittle bones. For women, it is associated with iron deficiency, and sometimes, it can lead to absent periods. So before you go on a self- starving spree in the search for a “perfect” body shape and size, take this into consideration too. For the best dieting program and routine, you really should discuss your desire to lose weight with your health-care provider so that you don’t overdo it to the point of compromising your health.


Benefits of having the right weight

If your BMI indicates that you are neither obese nor underweight, you are likely to enjoy the many benefits that come with having the right weight. For one thing, joint and muscle pains will be alien to you. Additionally, you will have reduced risk to heart illnesses and other diseases with obesity or being underweight. Moreover, you will have more energy and be more active. Certainly, this is the best weight range to be at, isn’t it?

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