You may have been hearing a lot lately about Omega 3 vs Omega 6 ratios and how that effects your body. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are both essential fats for the human body. This means that our bodies don’t make these fats naturally, so we need help from the natural world to ensure adequate intake for optimal health. Though their names are quite similar, they’re actually polar opposites. For example, omega-3 fats have been proven to reduce inflammation in the body while omeg-6 fats have been proven to promote inflammation.
You may have heard or read that omega 3s are the “healthy” fats while omega 6s and the “unhealthy” fats, but that’s an overly-simplistic view of these essential fatty acids. Your body needs both of these fats equally, so one is not better than the other. The problems it that the modern American diet heavily favors omega-6 fatty acids. It’s found in vegetable oil and many seed oils, so the emphasis on fried foods in today’s culture naturally leads to indulgence in these oils that is harmful to human health.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found most heavily in seafood, but smaller amounts are also found in a long list of foods from legumes and walnuts to select fruits. The problem is that the foods containing this healthy fat are all healthy fruits, vegetables and fish that many people don’t consume regularly today. It’s more common for most to reach for French fries soaked in omega-6 oil than a fresh salad with a side of salmon.
If you could do one thing that would change your health for the better, would you do it? Regardless of your current health condition, there’s a good chance you’d do it. Chances go up even higher if all you have to do is swallow a pill each day, right? While balancing your consumption of omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats is the one thing you can do to make a difference in your healthy, it’s not quite as easy as taking a fish or krill oil supplement each day.
A supplement is a great start and can make up for deficiencies in your diet if you just don’t enjoy fish enough to eat it at least three times a week. Yet, you still need to make an effort to balance your intake of these two opposing fatty acids. The following tips will guide you in the right direction:
Notice that these tips require you to do more than take a supplement to balance Omega 3 vs Omega 6. You also have to decrease the amount of omega-6 fats consumed to create a healthy ratio of these fats. Our bodies were created on the diet of our ancestors, and that diet had an even 1:1 ratio. Our ratio today is more like 16:1, favoring omega 6. The more you get back to that even ratio, the greater health you will enjoy.