Cholesterol Advice

Essential Fatty Acids and Cholesterol Metabolism

Essential fatty acids or EFAs are fatty acids that are beneficial for our cardiovascular health. This group of essential nutrients is sourced from the food that we eat, and cannot be produced by the human body. This group of substances has a larger role to play in the form of biological functions within the body than as fuel.

Essential fatty acids are divided into two basic sub types of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
Although EFAs perform a number of biological functions, their role in reducing heart disease has brought them into a high degree of attention.

These two types of fatty acids reduce the levels of LDL (low density lipoprotein) in the blood. LDL cholesterol is bad fat that tends to be deposited in the arteries in the form of a plaque. By lowering LDL cholesterol, EFAs help to reduce arterial plaque deposit.

EFAs also help to increase the level of HDL (high-density-lipoprotein) in the blood. HDL cholesterol is good or heart friendly cholesterol that takes LDL cholesterol to the liver where it is metabolized and excreted. Thus EFAs help to reduce bad or LDL cholesterol on the one hand, and increase HDL or good cholesterol on the other. EFAs also help to maintain the proper rhythm and beating of the heart muscles,

EFAs are found in food groups such as fatty fish, shellfish, whole grain cereals, oilseeds, butter and dried fruits such as walnuts and peanuts.  Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna besides other varieties, are a rich source of Omega3 fatty acids. At least two servings of fatty fish are recommended by the American Heart Association, per week,

It is a popular and mistaken notion that fats are bad for health, Not all fats are bad. Saturated fats and Trans fats are not good for you. On the other hand, polyunsaturated fatty acids or EFAs are an essential component that we should source from the food that we eat.