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What are Fatty Acids

Fatty acids are acids produced when fats are broken down. They are considered “good fats.”  

The way the chemical chain links up is illustrated here.

These acids are not highly soluble in water, and they can be used for energy by most types of cells. They may be monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, or saturated. They are organic, or in other words, they contain both carbon and hydrogen molecules.


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Fatty acids are found in oils and other fats that make up different foods. They are an important part of a healthy diet, because the body needs them for several purposes. Fatty acids help move oxygen through the bloodstream to all parts of the body. They aid cell membrane development, strength, and function, and they are necessary for strong organs and tissue development.

Omega-6 fatty acids come from grains.  Omega-3 fatty acids come from grass and nuts.  They have counterbalancing functions in the body, and scientists say the ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids should lie somewhere between 1:1 and no more than 4:1. 

Scientific work has proven the critical nature of the fatty acid ratio in preventing numerous health problems such as obesity, diabetes, heart failure, cancer, attention deficit disorder and other mental disorders. 

Analysis of tissue, bone, and food samples from anthropology digs indicates that before organised agriculture took over from hunter gathering, the ratio was 1:1.  There is much research that links disease with the ratio of the fatty acids in the diet.  Scientists also analyzed food products from livestock.  The fatty acid ratio of cattle fresh off of grass is 2 or 3 to 1.  After those cattle come out of the feedlot their ratio is 20:1.  Similar elevated ratios apply to all livestock products, including pork, lamb, chicken, eggs, and dairy.

Did you realise.....