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To maximize the benefits of EFA supplements, several recommendations can be followed. EFA users should reduce the amount of fat, particularly saturated fat from animal products, in their diet. The American Heart Association recommends that a healthy diet contains 30% or less of its total calories from fat. For 2000 total calories per day, 600 calories or less should be from fat, including EFA supplements. Consumers should also completely eliminate hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils from their diets. This includes eliminating all processed foods that contain them, such as margarine and many packaged foods. Other foods that contain trans-fatty acids, such as deep fried foods, should also be eliminated. Recommended cooking oils are olive, safflower, canola, and sesame oils. EFA effectiveness may be increased by lowering the intake of sugar and alcohol in the diet. Nutrients that assist EFA uptake are the B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, and magnesium. As with any supplement, EFA effectiveness can be augmented with a nutritious, high fiber diet that emphasizes fresh and natural foods, and the intake of fish two times a week.
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Northwest Academy of Preventative Medicine. 15615 Bellevue-Redmond Road, Bellevue, WA 98008. (206) 881-9660.
Nutrition Health Review. 171 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016.
Nutrition Science News. 1401 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO 80302. (303) 939-8440.
Omega Nutrition. 720 East Washington St., Sequim, WA 98382. (800) 745-8580.
Teresa G. Odle
Author Info: Douglas Dupler, Teresa G. Odle, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit, Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, 2005
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