Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) and Weight Loss

 Any time you see “essential”, when it pertains to health, be it vitamins or other items, it means that the body isn’t capable of producing those items and they have to be gotten from outside sources like food or supplements. There are two main types of essential fatty acids (EFA’s), Omega-3 and Omega-6.A healthy ratio in the diet is four parts Omega-6 to one Omega-3 (4:1).  The normal diet consumed in the West contains anywhere from 20:1 to 25:1 Omega-6 to Omega-3.  That’s because the Omega-6 oils used in processed foods, have a longer shelf life.  To make things worse, the oils are hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated to add even more shelf life.  Hydrogenating is the same basic process used in making plastics, only in plastics the base oil is petroleum, not vegetable.

CLA (Conjugated Linolenic Acid) is a manufactured by the body from ingested Omega-6 fatty acids and has been proven in research to effectively reduce body fat and increase muscle mass.  The research projects stated that CLA reduced body fat from 43 to 88 percent in 6 weeks when included in the diet of laboratory mice.  The same research group followed up with another study and found it as effective for reducing fat and increasing muscle mass in humans.  The area that appeared most prone to lose the fat was the abdominal region.  A Norwegian Journal of Nutrition study showed 3.3 grams of CLA was all that was required per day.  Whole milk, some cheeses, cheddar, blue, brie, edam, and Swiss, beef, lamb, yogurt and turkey all contain varying amounts of CLA.  The problem lies in what the animals are fed.  If Omega-6 feeds are used, the % of CLA is significantly reduced. 

Hemp Seed or Hemp Seed Oil can be used to balance out your EFA ratio and has proven to be helpful in losing and keeping off extra pounds.  How do Hemp Seed and CLA work?  They increase your metabolic rate and so that you burn fats more quickly and efficiently.  Hemp Seed and/or Hemp Seed Oil also increase energy production, facilitates oxygen transfer, lowers blood pressure and decreases the stickiness of your blood platelets. Hemp Seed is available at health food stores as Hulled Hemp Seed.

Some oils – such as Hemp Seed Oil – are considered good sources of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs). EFAs are essential because they are required in the diet to remain healthy. The fats that heal contain unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs) which make them liquid oils. Examples are Linoleic acid and Alpha-linoleic acid. Our bodies convert the EFAs into longer and more ‘super-unsaturated’ fatty acids (SUFAs) which have important functions in brain cells, nerve endings (synapses), sense organs, adrenal glands, sex glands, and all cells. Our bodies use some of these derivatives to make prostaglandins, which have hormone-like regulating and communicating functions in our cells. These are extremely important to our health.

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