Fatty acids

Fats in the daily diet

Fatty acids are an indispensable part of the daily diet. A distinction is made between: saturated fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids are mainly of animal origin. Exceptions are coconut and palm oil as well as hydrogenated vegetable oils and the degenerated trans fats that are a by-product of industrial hardening of vegetable oils. They all contain cholesterol.

In the body, they serve to produce energy and as a building material for cell walls. These sticky fats have a negative effect in that they are deposited on the blood vessels and can clog the arteries. They have a negative effect on the heart and circulation. They are the cause of a whole series of civilisation diseases, such as rheumatism, arteriosclerosis, skin and metabolic diseases.

The balance is decisive for a positive effect

Unsaturated fatty acids mainly come from plant sources. They can be mono- or poly-saturated. They are liquid and free of cholesterol. The best known and probably the best monounsaturated fat is olive oil. It covers energy needs and has a neutral effect on the cardiovascular system and health.

Polyunsaturated fats include: Omega-6 (vegetable linoleic acid) from maize germ, sunflower or safflower oil, vegetable margarine and frying oils as well as AA fat from animal sources, e.g. meat, eggs, cheese, liver sausage, lard and liver. Tissue hormones (eicosanoids) are formed from these. Through deposits in the body, they contribute to the constriction of blood vessels, blood thickening as well as increased blood pressure and promote inflammation. They stimulate messenger substances and cells of the immune system.

Omega3 fat (alpha-linolenic acid) ) is obtained from plant substances: Linseed, walnut, rapeseed oil and green leafy vegetables as well as EPA fat from animal substances: such as cold water fish and algae. The eicosanoids that form from these substances help to stabilise and dilate the blood vessels, can significantly improve the flow properties of the blood, lower blood pressure and have an anti-inflammatory effect. They reduce the production of pro-inflammatory tissue hormones from omega 6 fats. Omega 3 fatty acids help to improve brain performance and increase the ability to concentrate.

Conclusion: Less omega 6 fat from oil and margarine and more omega 3 fat from nuts, seeds, leafy vegetables, wild plants and fish. In the recommendation of the DGE (German Nutrition Society), the optimal ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 is clarified as 1:5.