Week 10: Getting Enough Essential Fatty Acids is Easy – 52 Weeks of Wellness

In week 9 of the 52 weeks of wellness program we learned about the importance of essential fatty acids and started trying to identify fact contain foods in our diets.

Essential fatty acids must be supplied through our diet because our bodies cannot supply these for us. Humans evolved eating fish and seafood but now the majority of us are deficient in essential fatty acids and our health is suffering. There are two solutions, essential fatty acid supplements or diet modifications.

The good news is essential fatty acids are present in a wide variety of foods such as:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cold Pressed or Expeller Pressed (do not cook this or heat it up as it will destroy the nutritional content and can turn carcinogenic)
  • Grapeseed (can be cooked with)
  • Coconut oil (can be cooked with)
  • Avocado oil (can be cooked with)
  • Butter or ghee, organic only
  • Flax seed or flax seed oil (cold use only)
  • Chia seeds (cold use only)
  • Hemp seed (cold use only)
  • Wild seafood such as salmon, herring, trout, mackerel
  • Avocado
  • coconut oil - raw
  • Walnuts, almonds, pumpkin, sunflower
  • Eggs, free range and organic only.  Conventionally raised eggs contain little or no nutritional value plus are full of hormones and antibiotics

Note: Oils I strictly avoid are canola, corn and vegetable oils.

The FDA unfortunately does not provide a recommended daily allowance for good fats but the USDA does recommend them. I use 2-3 tablespoons or eat essential fatty acid containing foods daily.

Week 10 action step: Incorporate essential fatty acid containing foods daily, preferably in place of any bad (trans-fats or hydrogenated oils) fat containing foods.

Avocado’s are very portable. Just cut one in half, squeeze some fresh lemon juice  on it and you have a healthy snack. I also “butter” my toast with coconut oil. My favorite way to use coconut oil is to sauté greens with it or cook it with quinoa.  Smoothies are a painless way to include nutrient rich foods, chia or flax seeds are part of my daily green smoothie ingredients.

What are some of the 1st essential fatty acid containing foods that you'll incorporate into your diet this week? Tell us in the comments below.

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