The Connection ~ Part IV
By Judy Thomas, LCSW
When considering the effect of fats, it is important to remember that most fats and oils are made up of a mix of different fatty acids and it is this mix that is important. A detailed discussion of all the fatty acids is beyond the scope of this article so we will focus on the two essential fatty acids that appear to have the greatest impact on health and mood. These are omega 3 (alpha-linolenic) and omega 6 (linoleic) fatty acids. They are called essential fatty acids because they can not be created within our bodies. A proper balance is key.
There have been recently published studies indicating a link between mood disorders and low levels of omega 3 fatty acids, with improvement in mood correlated with supplementation. This does not prove causation but the statistically significant correlation between higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids and improved mood make it a promising target.
Dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids include flax-seed, hemp, canola, walnut and fish oils. Ways to increase dietary consumption include switching the type of oil you use in salad dressings, adding flax-seed or hemp seed to dishes, changing the oils used in cooking, eating more cold water seafood and taking fish oil supplements. Increases in seafood consumption should be moderated due to the widespread contamination present in most seafood these days.
CHECK BACK ON MONDAY TO READ PART V