Essential Fatty Acids and Skin Care

Omegas 3, 6 & 9 are the three important groups of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s). They are important because if eaten regularly together with fruit and fresh green vegetables, they can benefit both our health and our skin.

These EFA’s should form a greater part of our diet than they do but today we eat less and less of them and thereby dismissing the help they offer towards fighting off the premature aging of our skin.

However, having said that it is important to get the right balance of these fats, too much of one without the other is not good for us. A healthy balance is suggested as four to five parts of omega 3 and one of omega 6. Too much of the omega6 group of fats alone can lead to health problems and many of us today are guilty of using oils in salads, spreads containing oils and oils for cooking.

Mediterranean style diets are healthier than ours as they have a more appropriate balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. People there eat high amounts of whole grains and nuts, fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, olive oils and garlic but little red meat that can sometimes be high in omega 6 fats.

Getting the right balance is no only beneficial to our overall health but it will also do a great job in moisturizing our skin too. Dry skin will start to improve and in turn lines and wrinkles will begin to diminish.

Towel -dry after a hot bath and check how dry your skin is. If it is very dry it may be that the level of intake of Essential Fatty Acids needs to be increased.

Omega 3.

These are a very important group of fats, as they will help increase the body’s metabolic rate and that in turn burns off fat. They have anti- inflammatory properties and inflammation can play a big part in skin aging.

Foods in this group are oily fish, salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna and sardines. Some spreads and yogurts too can contain fats in the omega 3 group and so it is always worthwhile checking labels.

Omega 6.

This group of fats can be found in avocados, nuts and seeds. Also in margarines and sunflower oils, although good for us, consumption of too much of these fats without being balanced against an intake of foods in the omega 3 groups of foods can be unhealthy.

Omega 9

These fats are found in good quality virgin oil, much better for salad dressings if used sparingly.

It is important also to know that there are other fats in foods today that you should try hard to avoid if you want to maintain good health and better looking skin. Foods containing high levels of fat and sugars should form a very small part of your diet, less than 10%. For good health and for good skin too limit your intake of fatty sugary foods particularly those full of saturated fats and trans-fatty acid (trans fats).

Saturated fats and trans-fatty acids are destructive. They are known to raise blood cholesterol levels and this in turn can lead to heart problems, they also are known to break up skin cell structure causing a reduction in moisture and the skin’s ability to maintain its firmness and flexibility.

Beef and other animal fats, Sausages, Bacon, cheeseburgers, butter, margarine, doughnuts, ice creams, fries, biscuits, milk and cream along with other fast foods and puddings are or contain either saturated fats or trans-fatty acids. The trans-fats are used in food manufacturing to improve texture and increase the shelf life of foods such as, some cakes and biscuits, fast foods & ready-made meals.

There are ways that you can help yourself to reduce your consumption of “bad fats” particularly so as you will then protect your cholesterol levels and in turn help towards a healthy heart.

Always check labels to find the low fat foods.

Try a different way of cooking, perhaps grill instead of frying.

Use lower fat salad dressings.

Remove some fat from meats and the skin from poultry.

Once you learn the benefits of a healthy diet and you get used to eating this way you will soon see how better your skin looks, your body becomes trimmer, your moods change and you will have that overall feeling of health and vitality.

You may want to eat this way on a permanent basis and it is a good base on which to build for more youthful healthier looking skin.