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Fatty rhymes with batty and catty, bratty and chatty. It’s a five-letter word with two syllables and it has the connotation of overweight, or obese. But that is not the fatty I am referring to in this article. Neither am I referring to “Fatty Patty” the restaurant chain that boasts the best burgers, dogs, fries, and shakes.

The spotlight this month is on Essential FATTY and how it is a brain food that can make you smarter, healthier, and happier.

Picture a battle going on within you. Essential Fatty Acids are protecting your body from the Trans Fats that continue to invade it due to your poor eating habits. And the trans-fats are unrelenting! They are coming from all sides! Essential Fatty is at a loss! What do you do? You study them.

Let’s get to know the opponent. Trans fats are made when liquid oils are turned into solid fats, like shortening or margarine. They are also known as partially-hydrogenated oils (PHOs) and the health risks are enormous. You may have heard that trans-fats increase your risk of heart disease. But what most don’t know is that they also undermine the brain’s capacity to think clearly.

When Nancy* visited her doctor, she complained she was tired all the time. She felt easily stressed and had memory problems. What her doctor noticed - after a thorough examination and ruling some things out - was that her diet was extremely poor. Nancy had all the symptoms of essential fatty acid deficiency due to her high trans-fatty acid consumption. (There was a battle going on within). Her doctor pointed out that if she changed her diet, her symptoms would disappear. She was not very keen on the idea of changing her diet and cutting out all fried foods, but finally agreed when the doctor offered to teach her some techniques if she'd add an Omega 3 tablet and a vitamin E supplement each day - which apparently she did.

This is what I learned. The brain is made up of 60% fat. And, you need the right fats to manufacture the cell membranes in your brain and throughout the rest of your body that will help you become better at making intelligent choices in life, expressing your thoughts and feelings, and communicating adequately.

These healthy fats are called lipids and are specifically a family of lipids that go by the name of fatty acids. Essential Fatty acids are our body’s friends. Fatty acids serve many critical functions. And, If you don’t get enough of the right fatty acids (Essential ones), your brain will not function optimally, which was the reason Nancy was experiencing memory problems.

Essential Fatty Acids cannot be made by the body, so you must consume them in your diet. There are two fatty acids that are considered essential. Linoleic Acid (LA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). LA is an omega-6 fatty acid that is in vegetable oils like safflower, sunflower, sesame, and corn oil. ALA is found in walnuts, flaxseed, and green leafy vegetables. You need to eat both LA and ALA. Notice I said eat, not overeat.

Cells in the brain are called neurons. Neurons connect and communicate via the synapses. They send and receive signals. These signals are known as neurotransmitters or chemicals that carry information between brain cells. A single neuron can make an average of ten thousand synaptic connections with other neurons.

Neuro-plasticity is the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience or following an injury. Neuro-plasticity is the brain’s ability to change and adapt. It is an umbrella term referring to the brain’s ability to change, reorganize, or grow neural networks. (

Here’s the kicker: Neuro-plasticity is dependent on the health of your synapses, and the health of your synapses depends on getting the right fats.

Repetition for emphasis: Neuro-plasticity is dependent on the health of your synapses, and the health of your synapses depends on getting the right fats - Essential FATTY Acids.

Bottom Line:

Neuro-plasticity research has found that it is possible for us to change our less-than-desirable behaviors and habits to more positive ones that will improve our moods and make us and others happier, as long as we take in Essential Fatty Acids.

Here are some foods rich in Omega 3 Fats

Cold-water fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, sardines)

Nuts and seeds (flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts)

Plant oils (flaxseed, soybean, canola)

All green chlorophyll-rich foods contain Omega 3 fats in their chloroplasts. (kale, collards, parsley, seaweed, and so many others).

As per Nancy*, after a month she reported she started to have more energy and was able to think more clearly. Over the next few months, she was successful at employing the techniques her doctor had suggested and rewiring her brain.

Next time you think of FATTY, think Essential FATTY.

A Healthy F A T T Y Acids Brain Food.

*Rewire Your Brain by John B. Arden, Ph. D.


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