Fatty Acid Deficiency: Why Our Bodies Require Fat

You could have a fatty acid deficiency without knowing it. With millions of Americans striving to lose weight in recent years by dieting and reducing fat intake, many weight-conscience dieters are not only vitamin-deficient, they also have not been getting enough essential fats or calcium. It is estimated that eighty percent of today’s Americans could have deficiencies in essential fatty acids.

To determine if you are getting enough of the healthy fats in your diet, consider the symptoms listed below.

Symptoms of Fatty Acid Deficiency

There are many noticeable symptoms of a deficiency in essential fatty acids. You might have a deficiency if you have achy or popping joints because essential fatty acids lubricate your body’s joints. Also, if your hair, fingernails, and toenails are dry or brittle, it might be a symptom of a deficiency. A lack of a healthy level of essential fatty acids can also make you feel tired, fatigued, and unmotivated.

Essential fatty acids also help regulate bowel movements. If you experience irregular bowel movements, constipation, gas, or bloating, you might have a deficiency in essential fatty acids.

High blood pressure, which could be a symptom of several medical conditions, could also be a result of a fatty acid deficiency. Consult your doctor if you have high blood pressure to determine the cause.

Essential fatty acids are also important for brain function. If you have difficulties concentrating or remembering, or notice an overall lack of mental energy while you are on a low-fat diet, it could be caused by an essential fatty acid deficiency. ADD has also been linked to deficiencies in essential fatty acids.

Good Sources of Essential Fatty Acids

To avoid a fatty acid deficiency, you need to eat foods that contain healthy fats. Fish oil is a good source for omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin supplements and acai berries are also good sources-and very beneficial to your overall health as well as weight management. Some other foods rich in essential fatty acids are:

  • nuts
  • avocado
  • salmon
  • olive oil

How Essential Fats Can Help With Weight Loss

Low-fat diets are not always effective because your body needs essential fats to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, which help with weight loss and maintenance. There are many effective and healthy weight loss programs available today that do not require low-fat diets. It seems ironic that fat is actually required for your body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, which can aid in weight loss.

The most far-reaching benefits for weight loss come from vitamin D because vitamin D aids the body with metabolism, which helps you to maintain your correct body weight. Recent research has indicated that low levels of vitamin D are associated with obesity. Studies have also confirmed that Vitamin D levels are inversely correlated with body fat and body mass index. You need essential fats in your diet for your body to absorb vitamin D for weight loss and  management.

You can increase the amount of vitamin D in your diet with more milk and other vitamin D-fortified dairy products. Vitamin D, as well as fats needed for your body to absorb it, is also found in salmon, sardines, and cod liver oil.

Researchers are learning more and more about how vitamin D and essential fatty acids contribute to weight management as well as other health benefits.


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