The Hidden Danger of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs)

Fats are divided into three main categories: saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Vegetable oils and animal fats are most often composed of a mixture of these types of fat. For example, olive oil is mainly composed of monounsaturated fatΒ with some polyunsaturated fat. Coconut oil is primarily saturated fat. Lard is generally half saturated fat and half monounsaturated, but also contains some polyunsaturated ones. Most vegetable oils, but palm oil, olive oil and coconut oil, are rich in PUFAs (Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids) while most animal fats are mostly composed of saturated andΒ monounsaturated fat.

The main dietary PUFAs such as omega-3 and omega-6 are considered essential because they can not be manufactured by the body and must be obtained from food intake. This would also suggest that they are not that important, because the most important macro nutrients such as glucose, monounsaturated fat and saturated fat may be manufactured by the body when there is such need. Furthermore, deficiencies PUFAs are extremely rare and could only be propagated in humans upon parenteral nutrition which do not contain PUFAs. The required quantities are very small and the foods found naturally in nature contains more than enough to meet our needs.

Not surprisingly, the PUFAs often contribute only a small part of our own fat tissue, while the majority is present in the saturated and monounsaturated fat, like most other mammals. Most of the time, may be a good idea to try to consume the amount of macro-nutrients in proportion to our own tissues contain.

A major problem with PUFA is that they are chemically very unstable. They have two or more unsaturated double bonds in their carbon chain and therefore run the risk of being altered and denatured by what surrounds them. Outside of us, these fats easily become rancid or oxidized in the presence of heat, light or oxygen. Within our bodies, PUFA easily react and bind to proteins and sugars to create toxic byproducts such as AGEs (advanced glycation end products), which can cause many types of damage to our cells. It is worth noting that PUFAs react more to the fructose than for glucose. That brings up another reason why the fructose consumption should be kept in very low levels. Another good practice is to avoid the intake of PUFAs, while fructose sources such as fruit.


PUFAs and Inflammatories

Since they are unstable fats when ingested in large amounts, become increasingly part of cell membranes, and the cells themselves become more brittle and prone to oxidation. Oxidized PUFAs also contribute to the oxidation of low density lipoproteins (LDL) to create a form of cholesterol carrier in the blood that is very unstable and atherogenic. This is the form of cholesterol that people should worry about.

We know that PUFAs are essential, but can also become quite problematic when consumed in excess. Too much, are used by the body to modulate and regulate processes inflammatory eicosanoids. Inflammation is a natural process in the body, where the normal inflammatory processes stimulate the immune system, but chronic inflammation caused by agents such as PUFAs, ultimately suppressing the immune system. Therefore, it is prudent to temper the intake of PUFAs, limited to small amounts, only the module required for some critical inflammatory pathways organism. When in excess, they are counterproductive, making the body ignite chronically in taking him to all kinds of long-term problems.


PUFAs are fine,Β only in the proper ratio.

There is much talk in the ketogenic community consume the major PUFAs: Omega-6 and Omega-3 in proper proportion and there is a reason for that. Omega-3 PUFAs and omega-6 transformadoa and are used in some of these pathways, and an excess of one, it is possible to suppress absorption or other processing. In addition, omega-3 is anti-inflammatory, because it mitigates the action of the omega-6 fats. Seed oils of vegetables, very rich in Omega-6, now account for a large part of our food system, making people consume much Omega-6 and Omega-3 bit to stay in balance. A good proportion of omega-6 to omega-3 would be about 1.5: 1 to 3: 1, respectively. Many people even to 20: 1 in proportion, causing excess omega-6 in the body, which may lead to many problems in the long term.

The PUFA Omega-3 have a good reputation among the people, and are already quite popular as dietary supplements, especially in the form of fish oil capsules. The main natural sources of Omega-3 are fatty fish (such as salmon, sardines and herring), containing EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). The form of omega-3 often found in vegetable sources such as linseed in – ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) must be stretched repeatedly to be processed into a usable form for the body. The process is not efficient, and only a small fraction of Omega-3 in the form of ALA ends up in a really usable form.


Excess Omega-3

The Omega-3 fats are also needed only in small amounts, consume at high levels can cause problems because they are chemically fragile, more fragile than Omega-6 fatty acids. There is often very focused on reaching the proper proportions between Omega-6 and Omega-3, that we forget that the total amount of PUFAs consumed should be reduced to a minimum. A better strategy for the two categories of PUFAs in the proper ratio is to keep the consumption of Omega-6 to a minimum and to get just the Omega-3 sufficient to balance things out.

Fish oil capsules can be a problem as an additional source of Omega-3, they often are poorly packaged to arrive in stores, in humid, for long periods of time or are exposed to sunlight, factors that may easily damage the fat and make it even more toxic to consumption. A good solution is to only consume Omega-3 fresh fish, where it is more likely that the fat is in your not adulterated form. Of course, if you find it hard to eat fatty fish (a still from the wild) regularly, you can search a fish oil that comes from a trusted source, or that is kept refrigerated in stores they are sold.


Final Recommendations

A high intake of PUFAs in the modern diet is one of the reasons why we are so sick as population. Often we think we are consuming something more healthy, but actually consume already denatured and oxidized fats, causing even greater damage to health. It is recommended to keep the total consumption of PUFAs as low as possible, where the Omega-3 fatty acid should be consumed the same amount of Omega-6, but only from fresh sources such as wild fatty fish. Ums special attention should also be taken not to overheat the sources of polyunsaturated fat, which is why it is not recommended to cook with olive oil, because even if the oil has a low concentration of PUFAs may already be toxic to the body.

A good rule would consume no more than 4% of their calories as Omega-6, always prioritizing a higher proportion with Omega-3. This means cutting all vegetable oils from your diet, except coconut oil, palm oil and olive oil, cooking oils and seek with smallest possible content of PUFAs. An excellent choice and can be put into practice easily is to use clarified butter, coconut oil and tallow and eat only limited amounts of nuts that are high in Omega-6 fat. With this strategy, a pound of fresh oily fish a week is enough to balance the omega-6 consumption.

The Hidden Danger of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs)
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About Gabriel Machado

Gabriel Machado is engineer, blogger and fanatic for any health related subjects, specially on the realm of diet and nutrition. After having your life changed following a low-carb diet, became a keto-freak trying to spread the Ketogenic Lifestyle message to all over the world.

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