Omega 3 and Omega 6 are essential fatty acids that our body cannot make on its own so we must get them from the foods we eat. Our bodies’ need both to achieve optimal balance.
Omega 6 is an essential fatty acid extracted from nuts and seeds and thus found in most vegetable oils and soybean oils. It’s abundant in sweets, fast food, crackers, and most anything processed. You without a doubt consume this most often and while your body does need it, it’s very dangerous in the quantities we have become accustomed to.
Omega 3’s are found in olive oil and cold water fish such as salmon and herring. Unless you are really trying, you consume this much less which contributes to poor health and disease.
Why is this?
Omega 6’s fosters inflammation in our bodies. That just sounds bad doesn’t it? Omega 3’s have the complete opposite effect, they fight inflammation in our bodies.
Our Western culture has made our diets ultra rich in omega 6 fatty acids and dangerously lacking omega 3’s by an average ratio of 16:1! Your ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acid ratio should be about 1:1 or 1:2 for optimal health and balance.
This imbalance is not doubt contributing to chronic inflammation and diseases such as asthma, heart disease, cancers, auto immune diseases, obesity, depression, and stroke to name a few.
Looking back on my first 25 years I rarely consumed Omega 3’s. My mom didn’t like fish so we never ate it, and all cooking was with butter or vegetable oil. In her defense back then nutrition was not talked about like it is today.
When I was 29 I was diagnosed with an auto immune disease that doctor’s believed I had since early childhood. Now I’m not saying that this imbalance alone caused it, but I’m sure it was one contributing factor. As a mother of 2 I am very aware of what I am putting into my daughters’ bodies. I want them to have balanced nutrition for a healthy life.
Healthy eating tips:
· Replace your vegetable oils like corn, sunflower, safflower, soy, and cottonseed with extra virgin olive oil for cooking and making salad dressings.
· Eat less processed and fast foods.
· Consume more fatty fish like sardines, salmon, herring, black cod, and mackerel,
· Consume more foods with flax seed which is naturally rich in omega 3’s
· Buy eggs fortified with omega 3
· Walnuts, scallops, cauliflower, cabbage, shrimp, cod, and tofu are also good sources of Omega 3’s.
· Read labels! You can find so many things fortified with healthy omega 3’s
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