Omega-6 Foods - Are You Getting Enough?

Omega 6 Foods - Are You Getting Enough?

Omega-3 fatty acids are all the craze today, but what about omega-6 foods with fatty acids? Just like the omega-3s, these fatty acids are essential, which means that your body cannot produce them naturally.



Your body only receives the amount that you consume through your diet each day, and most people get what they need without taking a supplement. While omega-3 fatty acids offer a long list of benefits for men and women of all ages, omega-6 health benefits are more limited:

  • Supports cognitive functioning
  • Promotes healthy growth
  • Stimulates hair growth
  • Promotes radiant skin

Those benefits are important, but there is a downside to consuming omega-6 fatty acids. While omega-3 fats are believed to fight inflammation throughout the body, too much omega-6 may actually encourage inflammation. This puts your body at greater risk for health complications and the development of disease, so it’s important to balance omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in your daily diet.

How Much Do You Need?

Recommended daily allowance for omega-6 depends on who you ask. Various medical professionals and organizations have offered their suggestions, and most seem to suggest around 10 grams per day for adults under the age of 50. Most suggest a few extra grams for men, and you may need a bit more as you age. The good news is that most people will consume far more than this amount through their daily diets, so no supplementation is needed for a healthy person consuming a varied diet of healthy foods.

If you have been diagnosed with a heart problem or another medical condition that may benefit from a daily dose of omega-6 fatty acids, your doctor may recommend that you take a higher dose than is recommended for others. You may do this by increasing serving sizes of select foods, but a supplement is the best way to ensure that your nutritional needs are met.

The Top Omega-6 Foods

Now that you know why omega-6 fatty acids are so important to your diet, let’s look at some of the best Omega-6 foods to incorporate into your diet.

  • Flaxseeds – You can add flaxseed oil directly to your foods or learn to make a variety of meals with ground flaxseed meal. Quality flaxseed oil contains more than triple the omega-3 and omega-6 fats contained in krill and canola oil, so it’s one of your most potent options for both of these categories of essential fats.
  • Hempseeds – You can’t miss the hemp market today because it is skyrocketing in popularity, and for good reason. These seeds contain the most active for of omega-6 and come with many additional health benefits.
  • Other Seeds – Pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, and many other seeds are valuable sources of omega-6. The catch is that they don’t contain an active form, so your body will need to convert them into a useable form after consumption.
  • Pistachios – Not all nuts are rich sources of omega-6, but you’ll get some of what you need through routine consumption of pistachios.

Are you already consuming some of these nuts and seeds on a routine basis? Most people do eat a variety of omega-6 foods daily, which is why these supplements aren’t as popular as fish oil and other omega-3 supplements. If you think that your diet is falling short of the essential fats that your body needs, start by adding some of these foods into your weekly meal plan. You may also want to talk to your doctor. They may recommend a supplement that is beneficial to your specific health concerns.

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