Fatty Acids: Your Gut, Hair and Skin Will Thank You!

brain fog constipation digestion fatigue gut health hair hormones immune system nutrition skin symptom burden assessment symptom relief thyroid Jul 01, 2023

Welcome! If you've landed on this blog, chances are you're concerned about your gut health and energy levels, and fatty acids have caught your attention on your Symptom Burden Assessment. Well, you're in the right place!

If you're anything like me, you've been influenced by the long-standing low-fat trend that still lingers today. Fearful of fat, I avoided it at all costs and opted for "low-fat" alternatives. But here's the truth: the notion that fat and saturated fat are unhealthy is just an idea, not a scientific fact.

Did you know that saturated fat is actually the preferred fuel for our hearts? Our skin cells are composed of 50% fat, providing a protective barrier against toxins. And our brains, comprising approximately 60% fat, rely on this essential nutrient for optimal function.

Fat plays vital roles in our body, including providing cushioning and lubrication for our organs and digestive tract. It's also necessary for the absorption of important vitamins like A, D, E, and K. Moreover, while our bodies can store only a few hours' worth of energy as starch, we can store months' worth of energy as fat.

It's time to debunk the myths and embrace the truth: we need fats, including saturated fats, for our overall health and well-being. The best sources of these essential nutrients are found in nature, specifically in animal foods that come in their natural, unprocessed forms.

Don't miss out on the incredible benefits of healthy fats any longer. It's time to shift our perspective and enjoy the nourishing power of fats for a healthier, happier life.

I'm here to guide you towards understanding, managing, and ultimately improving your fatty acid status. Let's get started!


What Are Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's)?

Fatty acids play a crucial role in supporting a healthy gut and providing you with the energy you need to thrive. They are the building blocks for healthy cell membranes, aid in nutrient absorption, and promote overall well-being. The body can, and does, make fat. However, there are two very important fats which are not made inside the body and must be consumed, deeming them essential: Omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids (ALA, EPA & DHA): These are the building blocks for your ANTI-INFLAMMATORY AND PRO-HEALING compounds. They are also crucial for the proper functioning of your brain. 

Omega-6 fatty acids (LA): Used to create chemicals that are PRO-INFLAMMATORY. But don't let that scare you...we need inflammation! It's how your body protects itself –– it's your first line of defense. It's when inflammation is prolonged and unresolved that you run into trouble.


Symptoms that Speak Your Language: 

You may not be aware how a lack of fatty acids may be showing up in your life, so I'd like to share some symptoms that may resonate with you and shed light on the importance of fatty acids:

  • Do you find yourself craving fatty or greasy foods? It could be your body's way of signaling a need for these essential fats.
  • Have you been following a low or reduced-fat diet, thinking it's the healthier option? Surprisingly, your body requires a certain amount of healthy fats for optimal function.
  • Do you tend to sunburn easily or struggle with dry, flaky skin or dandruff? These could be indications of an imbalance in fatty acid levels.
  • Do your muscles fatigue easily, leaving you feeling drained and lacking endurance? Fatty acids play a crucial role in providing sustained energy for your muscles.


I used to battle constant cravings for greasy and fatty foods, blaming myself for lacking willpower. It wasn't until I delved into the research that I realized my body was actually signaling a need for essential fats. Contrary to what I was taught (and trained to teach others), following a low-fat diet was not the healthier option. Surprisingly, by incorporating healthy fats and replacing inflammatory ones like seed oils, I noticed a remarkable change: my skin rarely burned under the sun and my chronic knee, back and hip pain disappeared.

This eye-opening experience made me realize the profound impact that healthy fats can have on our overall well-being. It's incredible how our body's cravings can be a sign of what it truly needs. By embracing a balanced approach and incorporating essential fats into my diet, I not only satisfied those cravings but also nourished my body in a way I had never experienced before.


The Ripple Effect: How Fatty Acids Influence Your Well-Being:

A deficiency in fatty acids can manifest in various ways, and you might not have even known they were related! Prepare to be amazed by the profound impact fatty acids have on your overall health. Here's a glimpse into their far-reaching connections:

  • The liver and gallbladder's role in digesting and absorbing fatty acids is crucial for unleashing their benefits.
  • Your adrenal glands, master managers of stress hormones, are intimately intertwined with fatty acid metabolism, shaping your energy and vitality.
  • Fatty acids wield influence over thyroid function, a vital player in metabolism, body temperature regulation, and weight management.
  • Fatty acids directly affect hormonal balance, supporting healthy cycles and reproductive well-being.
  • The immune system leans on fatty acids to maintain inflammation levels and power an optimal immune response.

Take a moment to reflect on the impact of fatty acid deficiencies in your body. Did you expect this intricate web of connections?


But Why Tho? Unveiling the Culprits Behind Fatty Acid Deficiencies 

Did you know that fat itself is so important to our health and survival, that we are designed to absorb about 99% of all the fat we eat? If you suspect a fatty acid deficiency, check out these potential factors behind it:

  1. Lacking in Diet: Are you getting enough dietary fat in your meals? A diet low in fat can contribute to fatty acid deficiencies. It's essential to include healthy sources of fat in your diet to meet your body's needs.

  2. Malabsorption and Gut Issues: Poor digestion, gut imbalances, and low beneficial bacteria can impair the absorption of fatty acids. 

  3. Liver and Gallbladder Dysfunction: The liver and gallbladder play a vital role in fat digestion. If these organs are not functioning optimally, it can hinder the production and release of bile, which is needed to break down and absorb dietary fats.

  4. Toxins and Medications: Some toxins and medications can interfere with the absorption and metabolism of fatty acids. Cholesterol-lowering drugs, certain anticonvulsants, and weight-loss medications are examples of medications that may impact fatty acid metabolism.


By identifying the true culprits, we can develop targeted strategies to optimize your fatty acid levels and support your overall health. Your journey to optimal health starts here.


Your Path to Lasting Relief: Taking the Next Steps

Imagine a life where your cravings for greasy and fatty foods are replaced with a deep satisfaction from nourishing your body with essential fats. As a result, your hormones feel happy:) With inflammation levels in check, your body feels lighter and more vibrant. Your immune system thrives, protecting you from common ailments and allowing you to fully engage in life's adventures. Your joints feel supple and pain-free, supporting your active lifestyle without the need for knee braces or other supports. And your skin becomes a reflection of your overall health!

Um... yes, please! Here are some practical steps you can take to replenish and optimize your fatty acid levels. Take action on some real solutions that can make a big difference:


Focus on Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids: 

Incorporate foods like fatty fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring), grass-fed beef, raw dairy, oysters, cold-pressed olive oil and avocados into your diet. These power-packed sources of essential fatty acids will help provide the nourishment your body craves. Note: nuts and seeds are often recommended as source of fatty acids. However, most of my clients struggle with gut issues, and I've found removing/minimizing these to be super beneficial in the healing process. I teach all about this in my Healthy Belly Nutrition course.


Optimize Nutrition with Animal-Based Foods: 

Let's talk about the power of animal-based nutrition. Prioritize incorporating a generous portion of animal foods into your meals. Aim for a minimum of 30 grams of protein from these sources in each meal, and you’ll get an adequate dose of fatty acids too! Bonus: Animal-based proteins are highly digestible and provide the essential building blocks your gut needs for repair and maintenance. And so many of these foods, like salmon or a juicy ribeye, can give you what your body is craving nutritionally. Discover the remarkable benefits of animal-based nutrition by delving into my DIY Healthy Belly Nutrition course.


Support Your Liver and Gallbladder: 

Optimize the impact of your nutrition by ensuring proper support for your liver and gallbladder. Bile, a crucial component of fat digestion and absorption, plays a significant role in reaping the perks of fatty acid-rich foods or supplements. If your liver or gallbladder is not functioning optimally, you may not fully benefit from your efforts. To address this, consider exploring my Liver and Gallbladder blog, designed to provide the support your body needs.


Foundations Protocol:

Your Starting Point for a Healthy Reset!

At the heart of our approach lies the recognition that supporting foundational aspects of your health is the first step towards achieving optimal well-being. We believe that addressing key elements like liver and gallbladder function, regular bowel movements (2-3x/day), efficient digestion, optimal nutrient status, and effective toxin removal can lay a solid groundwork for overall health. These pillars are often sufficient for significant improvements, alongside nutrition and lifestyle changes.

Think of our Foundations Protocol as a cleansing, purifying, and resetting experience—a spring cleaning for your system. By prioritizing these essential aspects, we create the ideal conditions for your body to thrive and naturally restore balance. Whether you seek to boost energy levels, promote glowing skin, or address chronic health concerns, this protocol is designed to serve as your starting point towards holistic well-being. 

  1. Start with our Foundations Protocol
  2. If this was a high category for you, include 1 of these fatty acids for ultimate support. 


Dive Deeper with Me: 

Work directly with me for a comprehensive approach. Together, we'll dive deeper into your specific concerns, conduct functional lab testing if needed, address gut health issues, create personalized protocols, design customized meal plans, and provide ongoing guidance and support. With our collaboration, you'll not only address Fatty Acid needs but also tackle the underlying root causes for lasting health and vitality. See our services here


By addressing fatty acid deficiencies and supporting your liver, gallbladder, and other key organs, you can experience improved digestion, enhanced energy levels, and a newfound vitality.


Remember, this information is for educational purposes only and doesn't replace personalized medical advice. It's always best to consult with a qualified healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and individualized guidance based on your specific needs.


Here's what some of my one-on-one clients have to say about these exact strategies and tips I'm sharing here:


Don’t have your own Symptom Burden Assessment yet? Grab yours HERE and gain exclusive access to my in-depth symptom assessment, unveiling the areas where your body needs the utmost support.


Hi, I'm Elishia!

Your Gut Health Nutritionist. I'm on a mission to revolutionize healthcare by supporting women who have been dismissed by traditional methods. With a holistic approach, I uncover the root causes of issues like poor digestion and exhaustion, guiding my clients towards vibrant health and a positive relationship with food. Join me in my blog series to gain transformative insights on understanding your body and embracing a new approach to wellness.