The Hype on Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)

By Janice Buckler, BSc, RHN

Our bodies cannot make essential fatty acids. Therefore, all sources must be provided by our diet.

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are required to build cell membranes and make hormones. The body can synthesize most of the fats it needs from the diet. However, two essential fatty acids, linoleic and alpha-linolenic, cannot be synthesized in the body and must be obtained from food.

These basic fats, found in plant foods, are used to build specialized fats called omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are an incredibly important part of our immune system.

The safest dietary sources of EFAs are olive oil, peanut oil, and avocado oil. They occur naturally in the fats of fish, eggs and poultry and in the oils of fresh, raw almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and pecans.

Polyunsaturated vegetable oils like safflower, sunflower, soy, corn, and sesame oils should be avoided, regardless of how naturally they were processed. They are chemically unstable and can break down in the body to produce excess levels of free radicals, which are causative factors in heart disease and cancer. Most especially, deep fried foods and rancid fats and oils of all kinds should be avoided.

Organic flaxseed oil makes an excellent EFA supplement, especially if it is sealed in dark gelatin capsules so that it is never exposed to the air.  One to three capsules daily are all that most people may require.

If you do indulge in deep fried foods more than you should, taking EFAs will help because the good fat will displace the bad in the body.

Our bodies know what it likes and needs.

About the Author

My name is Janice Buckler, I obtained my Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Chemistry from Dalhousie University (formerly called Nova Scotia Agricultural College). Food chemistry, and specifically the study of vitamins and minerals in food, is what compelled me into the chemistry program there. I later enrolled at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition (CSNN). It was there I found my true passion…..”holistic nutrition.” The program at CSNN complemented my chemistry degree perfectly, and I graduated with high honors and the Director’s Award.  ​

​I have seen many people benefit from taking the holistic approach, including myself. There was a period of time back in high school when I suffered from terrible headaches. Every day I was in pain. I took Tylenol until it became ineffective. I had every test done under the sun, including bloodwork, cat scans, vision tests, etc. They all came back “normal” but, the headaches remained.  Finally, I went to see a naturopathic practitioner who discovered I had a sensitivity to dairy. It was not the lactose (sugar) in the milk that was bothering me, but rather the proteins. It was such a simple fix after suffering for 12 years and consuming Tylenol every day.

All I had to do was remove dairy from my diet and I was pain free. This is a minor experience compared to some people, but it changed my life and what I believe in, and I am very passionate and driven to help people learn about and implement the healing power of holistic nutritional therapy.

I am very happy to be part of the Spotlight on Business Team and look forward to sharing with you my passion and tips for holistic nutrition and therapy to keep you healthy and focused on your business.