The truth about pursuing your best health and fitness is that it takes a full, robust diet to get all the of nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy and function properly. In the modern world, fats have been associated with negative outcomes of weight gain that can lead to health complications. While it’s true that there are a lot of unhealthy fats a person can put in their diet that can be detrimental to their health – fats are a cornerstone of nutrition that shouldn’t be ignored.
The question then isn’t whether or not you should involve fats in your diet, but instead, what kind of fats you should involve in your diet. The right kinds of fats can do everything from support your immune system to strengthen cells. Essential fatty acids are molecules that the body does not naturally synthesize but are incredibly beneficial for helping people maintain their health.
If you have been curious as to what essential fats are, and how you can get them into your daily diet, here is everything you need to know.
What Are Essential Fatty Acids?
Healthy fats are a key part of not only a full nutritious dietary plan but also a key part of human biology. Fats help to do all kinds of things from storing energy, to strengthening cell walls and improving the health of various systems like the immune system. An essential fatty acid is a term used for fat that is very useful for the body, but is not naturally synthesized by the body.
The most important fatty acids that fit this description are omega-3, omega-6, and pentadecanoic fatty acids, or C15:0. These are extremely useful and even vital for a person’s health and have to be taken in completely through diet.
Omega-3 vs. Omega-6 Fatty Acids
When it comes to fatty acids that are most commonly known for being good for a person’s health, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids often come to mind. These incredible molecules are packed with nutritional value and help the body maintain all sorts of processes. While both fats are considered essential, they both play key roles in a person’s health. To better understand the difference in omega-3 vs. omega-6 and how to get them into your diet, lets take a closer look!
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and How to Get Them In Your Diet
Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential part of a nutritious, well-balanced diet. They help to fortify cell wall membranes and can help to support immune system health as well as brain and cognitive development. There are three kinds of omega-3 fatty acids, DHA, EPA, and ALA.
As mentioned above, omega-3s are considered essential fatty acids that have to be taken in through diet. DHA and EPA omega-3s can both be taken in primarily through fish. Salmon, mackerel, tuna, and anchovies are all great sources of omega-3.
Omega-6 Fatty Acids and How to Get Them in Your Diet
Omega-6 fatty acids are found primarily in plant-based sources and are more common in western diets thanks to their presence in vegetable and seed oils. These fatty acids are still considered healthy and are associated mostly with energy storage. Fats in general represent one of the most efficient ways for the body to store energy.
Other benefits of omega-6 fatty acids are bone and joint health as well as being beneficial in weight maintenance.
Pentadecanoic acid is an odd chain fatty acid that is composed of 15 carbons. This saturated fatty acid is naturally found in butter and whole dairy products. While it is considered very healthy and supportive for the heart and RBC health as well as encouraging a healthy metabolism, this fatty acid is often times not well represented in healthy diets.
The main reason for this is that it’s hard to consume C15:0 without also consuming a lot of other unhealthy odd chain fatty acids also found in whole dairy products.
Supplements For The Busy Day
While it’s possible to get all of these vital fats from your natural diet, there is a great way to help you get all the nutrition you need without the stress of meal prepping and cooking – and that’s supplements. Taking a fatty acid supplement can help improve your overall health in noticeable ways.
The reason that supplements work so well, is that they can come alongside almost any dietary plan or packed schedule. An added benefit of C15:0 is that it’s possible to produce an all-vegan supplement that won’t have you compromising in order to enjoy its many benefits.
The important thing to remember, is that while a supplement can help you get the necessary fatty acids you need, they are meant to supplement your diet and not replace your diet. This means that focusing on foods you can eat, such as fish or seeds and nuts that contain helpful omega-fatty acids is still important while taking a supplemental fatty acid.