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Natural Health Glossary
Medical Terms, Therapies, Accreditation

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polyunsaturated fatty acids (polyunsaturated fats)
A fat that contains a carbon-carbon double bond, or a fat containing unsaturated fatty acids; such a fatty acid has double or triple covalent bonds and is thus able to add more atoms.

Polyunsaturated fats are believed to lower blood cholesterol levels and are found at high levels in vegetable oils (olive oil, safflower oil, etc.) and fish oils. Omega-6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats found in meat and vegetable oils, whereas Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish oils.

As a general rule, unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and are used for frying foods without burning.

Virgin polyunsaturated fats have been observed to lower cardiovascular disease risk, but the commercially processed versions do not seem to have the same capacity, and in fact appear to be detrimental.

Our best sources for the virgin form are nuts and seeds.

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