One of the most concerning and misinforming issues is the vital role that fats play within the body. There is this misconception that "fats" are bad, and we should reduce our fat intake because it will lead us down a path of gaining weight and or potentially becoming fat. This is true to some extent, but then again there are also different types of fats. Some, which are detrimental to the body in larger amounts and then there are others, which the body cannot create on its on and requires for it to function at an optimal level. My goal here is to educate you the reader on understanding the difference between "good fats" and "bad fats" and why it is essential for the body in order to function to take in the "good fats", hence the name "Essential Fatty Acids".

Let's start off by first discussing the bad fats, because this is unfortunately the fats in which, most individuals seem to consume much more on a daily basis. These "bad" fats are called "saturated fats" and "trans fats", they have a chemical make up where the carbon atom is saturated by a hydrogen atom. Trans Fats differ from saturated fats in that they are not naturally occuring like saturated fats and have been used for cooking products such as French Fries, butter on popcorn and the majority of fried foods. Trans Fats are used because they are cheaper and allow for the product to last longer either on store shelves or in the restaurant where the food is being served. According to one Harvard School of Public health study they found that consuming trans fats increased the risk of heart disease, " "...if trans fats were replaced by unsaturated vegetable oils, we would expect to see at least 30,000 fewer persons die prematurely from CHD (coronary heart disease) each year." The irony is that these numbers only reflect people in the United States. Fats on the other had are found in meats, cheese, dairy, coconut oil, palm oil, some seafood and even eggs. These fats have been shown to have some potential good effects on the body, when taking in small amounts and with moderation. Why is this bad you ask? Well, saturated fats are the fats that will raise your bad cholesterol levels (LDL), which will in turn increase your blood cholesterol levels. I am not saying that you should eliminate saturated fats altogether, there are some potential good qualities in small dosages, but, understanding that importance of moderation regarding these fats is crucial. One of the ways to be able to enjoy your cake and eat it to is to take in an adequate amount of the "good fats", this will aid the body in reducing the levels of LDL (bad fats). The focal point of your fat intake needs to be polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats as they are the "good fats for the body.

Now, onto what makes up a "good fat", and why is it essential to the body as well as what role does it play within the scope of creating homeostasis. Society and especially athletes, require essential fatty acids as they are a major component of cell membranes. These fats are used to help the brain, inner ear, eyes, adrenal glands and sex organs function, by supplying oxygen to the body in order for it to perform at an optimum level. The major concern that we need to discuss here is the detriment that it has on your body to be deficient in these fats and how this will lead to under performing in the athlete and individual as well as a systematic breakdown in the body. One of the main themes that we at Ultimate Fitness Systems promotes is how essential it is for society to be supplementing their diets, because of the lack of quality nutrients in the food and in some cases the bodies inability to produce the required nutrient in order to function properly. This is the case with two of the essential fatty acids, lionleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, neither one of these fatty acids can be created by the body. These fats are by far the most beneficial and imperative fats that a individual and especially an athlete needs to supplement in order for the body to function at an optimum level. There are many different ways that you can obtain these fats through supplementation, and in my belief they should be taken in through the means of a vegetable source. The reason I suggest vegetable sources and not fish oils even though fish supplies the body with eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docsahexanoic acid (DHA) is due to the lack of quality that is typically produced by fish oil supplements. There are many people that swear by fish oils and will tell you that the body can't produce these oils without them, but that is not true, in fact if the body has adequate amounts of alpha-linolenic acid that is is more then capable of creating (EPA) and (DHA) itself. My other issues with fish oils is the process it goes through in order to extract the oils can sometimes destroy the efficacy of the product because the chemical used during the extraction process can contaminate the oils. So, where do I suggest that you get these oils from? Good question. I would suggest getting theses sources of fats from organic seed oils, such as flax seed, sunflower seed, sesame seed, rice and oat germ, coconut, evening primrose and many others. My favorite way to supplement EFA's are through Udo's Oil, I have yet to find a product that is even close to the quality of this oil. I have suggested it to many athletes and individuals alike who have said that they could feel the difference within a week of supplementing with this product. The key is to make sure that the product that you are supplementing with is not only organic but Non-GMO!! This is crucial in maintaing synergy within the body, once you start to introduce synthetic lab created non-natural substances in the body, the body will begin to become genetically altered. I cannot stress to you the reader the importance of getting adequate amounts of essential fatty acids (EFA) and how by supplementing this in your diet will not only change the way you feel, but more importantly aid in creating the foundation for a synergist balance within the body.

In the end the key is to promote synergy within the body and to create that perfect state of homeostasis, which will allow you to function at the level your body so desires. It doesn't matter whether you are a professional athlete, housewife, construction worker or doctor, it is imperative that you seek some form of EFA supplementation. I will leave you with this list from Dr. Udo Erasmus, Ph.D of the positive and crucial role that EFA's aid and create within the body:

Just as a member of a large family has many roles, essential fats serve many functions in the complex workings of the human body. Taken in the right amounts and ratios, and taken from the right sources, essential fats help establish and maintain health as follows . . .

Increase energy, performance, and stamina. EFAs enhance thermogenesis, help build muscle, prevent muscle break down, and speed recovery from fatigue;

Strengthen the immune system. EFAs make hormone-like eicosanoids that regulate immune and inflammatory responses. Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory effects and can slow autoimmune damage;

Lower most risk factors for cardiovascular disease. EFAs (especially n3s) lower abnormally high levels of blood pressure, triglycerides, Lp(a), fibrinogen, tendency to clot formation, and inflammation;

Improve brain function: mood, intelligence , behavior, and vision. Our brain is over 60% fat. EFAs are important components of the entire nervous system. They are necessary to make the neurotransmitter serotonin. Depression and other brain diseases show decreased levels of omega-3;

Aid in weight reduction. EFAs help keep mood and energy up and suppress appetite, thereby aiding in weight loss. More recently, they have been found to block the genes that produce fat in the body (saturated and Trans Fat do not have this same effect) and increase thermogenesis;

Regulate organs and glands. Liver and kidneys, adrenal and thyroid glands, and the production of male and female hormones need EFAs;

Speed recovery and healing. EFAs are necessary for cell growth and division. They form all cell membranes and regulate vital cell activity.

Support healthy child development. For nervous system development, a growing fetus needs optimum EFAs from the mother's body. Mothers become depleted of EFAs during pregnancy, and need optimal EFA intake for their health and their children's optimum development;

Improve digestion. Poorly digested foods tie up the immune system and can cause gut inflammation, leaky gut, and allergies. Omega-3s improve gut integrity, and decrease inflammation and "leaky gut";

Decrease infection. EFAs have anti-fungal, anti-yeast, and anti-microbial properties, helping to protect against infections;

Keep bones strong. EFAs aid in the transport of minerals that keep bones and teeth strong, helping to prevent osteoporosis;

Protect genetic material. EFAs regulate gene expression, and omega-3s inhibit tumor growth;

Ease PMS. Studies indicate that omega-6 (GLA) intake was voted, by women, among the top three most effective PMS treatments. Omega-3s may be even more effective;

Produce beautiful skin, hair, and nails. Some of the first signs of EFA deficiency are dry, flaky skin, dull hair, and brittle nails. omega-3s can help skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Also, GLA (omega-6 derivative) administration is useful for some patients with atopic eczema.

Author's Bio: 

Ultimate Fitness Systems was born out of the sheer desire to offer athletes and individuals the ultimate experience in training. The company was formed because we were sick of all the hype, gimmicks, and manipulation that continually go on in today's fitness centers. We wanted something that was going to challenge us, not just physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually to aspire to become the greatest athlete and individual that we could possibly be. Training is more then lifting weights, working out, going through the motions to get the set done. It's about being in the moment, dedicating your heart and soul in order to create a better you, and push yourself beyond anything that you could ever dream.

We are the ONLY training company on the west coast that offers a true synergistic approach to wellness through creating a cohesive link between developing a superior body on the outside while regaining your inner terrain within. This is done by incorporating the needs of each individual athlete by designing training regiments and nutritional programs that are specifically geared from them, as well as introducing the alkalarian approach to nutrition. We are able to do this through the means of live blood analysis by our Nutritional Microscopist. This allows for us to target the area's of the body, in which are being affected and correct it by designing a custom nutritional program specific to the clients needs. This allows fo a synergistic homeostasis, which will creat a superior body inside and out.