Thursday, January 31, 2008

Kimkins Diet---Deficient in EFA's

Besides being just a VLCD, Kimkins puts much emphasis on being low fat also. This leads someone to be deficient in EFA's, essential fatty acids. While there are no recommended daily Allowance (RDAs) for essential fatty acids. Each person requires different amounts.

Research on EFAs is voluminous and consistent: EFAs are types of fatty acids that the body cannot make, but must be obtained from food. We do not make them because they exist in virtually all foods, and the body needs them only in small amounts. The body does make saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids because it needs these in large amounts and cannot count on getting all it needs from food.

The needed balance of the Essential Fatty Acids is 5 (five) Omega-6 to 1 (one) Omega-3. This is the Omega-6 to Omega-3 balance.

But, what is needed to counteract all the negative effects of eating the normal Western diet is about 1:2. For every one portion of Omega-6 you eat, you will need 2 portions of Omega-3.

An optimum amount of essential fatty acid has been suggested as 3 to 6% of our daily calorie intake.

Essential fatty acids have two principal roles. The first is as a constituent of the cell membrane. Each cell in the body is surrounded by a membrane composed of billions of fatty acids. About half of these fatty acids are saturated or monounsaturated to provide stability to the membrane. The other half are polyunsaturated, mostly EFAs , which provide flexibility and participate in a number of biochemical processes. The other vital role for EFAs is as a precursor for prostaglandins or local tissue hormones, which control different physiological functions including inflammation and blood clotting.

Here are some signs/symptoms of EFA deficiency:

  • Dry skin (e.g. feet/face/general)
  • Scaly or flaky skin (e.g. legs)
  • Cracking/peeling fingertips & skin (e.g. heels)
  • Lackluster skin
  • Small bumps on back of upper arms
  • Patchy dullness &/or color variation of skin
  • Mixed oily and dry skin ('combination' skin)
  • Irregular quilted appearance of skin (e.g. legs)
  • Thick or cracked calluses
  • Dandruff or cradle cap
  • Dry, lackluster, brittle or unruly hair
  • Soft, fraying, splitting or brittle fingernails
  • Dull nails - lack of surface shine
  • Slow growing fingernails
  • Dry eyes
  • Dry mouth/throat
  • Inadequate vaginal lubrication
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Premenstrual breast pain/tenderness
  • Excessive ear wax
  • Excessive thirst
  • Allergic (e.g. eczema/asthma/hay fever/hives)
  • Crave fats/fatty foods
  • Stiff or painful joints

Omega-6 is amply supplied in the typical Western diet.

Good sources of Omega-3 essential fatty acids in food are nuts, canola oil, walnut oil, flaxseed oil. Fish, especially cold water fish such as salmon, bluefish, herring, tuna, cod, flounder, mackerel and shrimp are also good sources.

Women are especially vulnerable to fatty acid deficiency. Much of the research literature (currently over 300 Medline entries) centers on concern about the EFA status and requirements for women, especially during their reproductive years. Recent research demonstrates that the quality of a woman's EFA status is critical for her successful reproduction and lactation. Reproduction that results in healthy, well-developed children is critical for society and all mankind, and the importance of well-fed infants needs no defending.

Other fats are just as important. You may be surprised to learn that certain saturated fatty acids are also needed for important signaling and stabilization processes in the body. The saturated fatty acids that play important roles in these processes are the 16-carbon palmitic acid, the 14-carbon myristic acid and the 12-carbon lauric acid. These saturated fatty acids are found in certain food fats.

The following nutrient-rich traditional fats have nourished healthy population groups for thousands of years:

  • Butter
  • Beef and lamb tallow
  • Lard
  • Chicken, goose and duck fat
  • Coconut, palm and sesame oils
  • Cold pressed olive oil
  • Cold pressed flax oil
  • Marine oils

Make sure you get your proper intake of fats each day for optimum health.


Essential Fatty Acids
Fatty Acid Requirements for Women
Know Your Fats


OhYeahBabe said...

Thank you so much for writing this.

I've been using Eggland's Best eggs to improve my O6 & )3 ratio. They are expensive, though, compared to regular eggs. Thanks for the list of other ways to get the vital fatty acids we need.
My blog: Kimorexia

Anonymous said...

thanks for blogging about this important part of the missing nutriants in

Flax and purselane are great omega 3 foods too and very carb


Anonymous said...

Don't cook with the flax oil;)
I heard you'll lose all it's nutrients.

Kovi's said...

Nice article about essential fatty acids after going through this article I came to know about the importance of fish in generating essential fatty acids. looking for more updates on this thank you.