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In our bodies, there are "good" fats and "bad" fats. Bad fats include trans fats and fats that contain cholesterol, while good fats include Omega 3 oils from fish, and oils like olive oil that both help add to the good HDL fats that help control cholesterol and other problems in the body. Essential fatty acids have to be obtained through our diets, because our body cannot produce them, and they are essential for good health.
These essential fatty acids help maintain the cardiovascular, immune, reproductive, and nervous systems, and children need them to grow strong and healthy, too. Unfortunately, our modern American diets are often deficient in Omega 3 oils, the oils for good health that contain the most essential fatty acids, and a deficiency in these essential fatty acids can lead to a variety of conditions, including heart disease.
To get more essential fatty acids in the diet, eat more fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel, or take flaxseed oil as a supplement. Take about one tablespoon per day, and keep your flaxseed oil in the refrigerator between dosages.