Good fats, bad fats, essential fats.
In a previous article we have cleared away a preconception widespread, which would identify the fat with absolute Evil: actually fats are essential substances in the organism, are not all ‘bad’ and, above all, we must take in consideration their balance.
Continuing the argument, let’s go now to deepen the concept of ‘essential fats’, to understand the indispensable role of the food style to maintain a balanced lipid profile.
Essential fatty acids are those fatty acids that our body cannot produce itself from other precursors: therefore they need to be introduced with the diet to preserve the state of health of the organism.
Also known as ‘F vitamin’, the essential fatty acids are two:
- Linoleic Acid (precursor of fatty acids Omega 6)It is the most abundant polyunsaturated fatty acid conteined in human tissues and it is the precursor of fatty acids of the n-6 class, including arachidonic acid (also contained in peanut oil, which takes its name).
It is present in nuts, cereals, in olives and in all vegetable oils, such as sunflower oil, corn oil, the linen and the hemp.
Low levels of this fatty acid can alter the structural features of biological membranes, with a reduction in the production of eicosanoids, able to regulate the inflammatory process.
Linoleic acid helps to lower the levels of total blood cholesterol and to reduce cardiovascular risk factors, a major cause of death of industrialized societies.
- Alpha-linoleic acid (precursor of Omega 3 fatty acids)
It is considered the precursor of fatty acids of the n-3 class.It is found in meat and fish oil, typical of marine cold waters as salmon, cod, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, tuna. It is also present in flax seeds, hemp, canola, soy, nuts, and dark green leafy vegetables.
The alpha linoleic acid acts as antiplatelet, antithrombotic and vasoprotective, and therefore it contributes to the reduction of cardiovascular risk.
Measuring and correcting the ratio between fatty acids.
Once identified the essential fatty acids, it is important to measure their ratio: the omega-6 and omega-3 in fact competing for the use of the enzymes involved in their desaturation, with the result that an excessive intake of Omega-6 may jeopardize the training of Omega-3 and vice versa.
In general, in the diet of the Western industrialized world, as well as a significant increase in the intake of saturated fats of animal origin, there is a reduced supply of omega-3 in favor of Omega-6.
Based on the LARN data (Levels of Assumption Recommended of Nutrients for the Italian population), also because of a diet rich in carbohydrates, in Italy the ratio between omega-6 and Omega-3 is about 13: 1, where the right proportions should be 4: 1.
To measure the concentration and the ratio of fatty acids and to intervene with a diet, NatrixLab proposes its Lipidomic Profile.
The Lipidomic Profile NatrixLab measures the concentration of fatty acids in the body and detects any imbalances, thereby enabling the patient to provide, through the help of the doctor, to re-establish a balanced condition.