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Natural Fats & Oils

Fats and oils are known as ‘lipids’. Lipids can be saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated. Saturated lipids are solid at room temperature and are called fats – butter is an example. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated lipids are liquid at room temperature and are called oils. Olive oil, for example, is a monounsaturate and sunflower oil is a polyunsaturate. All lipids are essential for optimum health, as they perform many important roles in the body - even saturates.

There are two important families of polyunsaturate fatty acids (PUFAs) called Omega 3 and Omega 6. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an Omega 3 essential fatty acid (EFA). Linoleic acid (LA) is an Omega 6 EFA. Essential fatty acids cannot be made in the body so must be present in food. ALA breaks down in the body to form DHA and EPA fatty acids. LA breaks down to form GLA fatty acid. Fatty acids form part of the walls of every cell in the body. They also make hormone-like substances, ....

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