It seems to have been commonly accepted that omegas, despite their high natural fat content, are necessary for human health.
Our bodies don’t produce these fatty acids naturally, so we need to get adequate amounts from food in order for our cells to function. What is still in question however, and what surfaces more and more with the growing amount of vegetable oils on our shelves and in our food, is the question of the appropriate omega 3 to omega 6 ratio.
What’s the difference between omega 3 and omega 6?
Both are polyunsaturated fats, also known as fatty acids. Omega 3 is primarily found in fish, such as salmon and tuna, as well as in walnuts and flaxseed. Omega 3 aids the body with blood thinning and reduces inflammation. Omega 6 comes largely as linoleic acid from plant sources, such as corn oil, soybean oil and sunflower oil. Omega 6 helps with blood thickening and immune response. Both fatty acids are vital components of the human diet, however, due to the large amount of vegetable oil, processed food and candy that contain high doses of omega 6, the average American is getting a much greater amount of omega 6 than necessary, and too little omega 3.
Why is the omega 3 to omega 6 ratio important?
Because each of the omegas have opposite functions, a healthy body relies on a balance of both fatty acids. An excess of omega 6, so common in the Western diet, is thought to be directly related to the increase of diseases like asthma, heart disease and cancer, and attributing to the alarming rise of obesity and depression.
What are a few easy ways to ensure I maintain a good omega 3 to omega 6 ratio?
- Eat grass-fed beef
- Eat wild-caught fish
- Eat flax seeds
- Eat walnuts
- Eat olive oil
- Avoid all vegetable oils
- Avoid fast food
- Avoid industrial food
- Avoid candy
Here’s to a healthier You!