Today most people eat too much Omega-6 fatty acids.
At the same time, consumption of animal-based foods has the lowest levels of Omega-3 than ever before.
The ratio of polyunsaturated fats may be one of the most damaging aspects of Western diets.
Because the Why should I care? Yes n ratio between Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-6 fatty acids and Omega-3 called unsaturated multi Because they have multiple double links (pony means a lot).
Our bodies do not have enzymes to produce them, so we must absorb them from the diet.
If we don't get from the diet, we will be deficient and sick. That is why they are called essential fatty acids.
However, these fatty acids are also different from most other fats. They are not simply for energy or storage, but they also have biological activity that plays an important role in controlling blood clotting and inflammation.
The problem is and Omega-3 does not have the same effect. Omega-6 causes inflammation while Omega-3 has anti-inflammatory effect .
Of course inflammation is essential for our survival. It helps protect the body from infection and injury, but it can also cause serious injuries and contribute to illness when irrational or excessive inflammatory response.
In fact, excessive inflammation can be one of the leading effects that cause the most dangerous diseases we face today, including heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer's and many types of cancer, etc.
Simply put, a diet rich in Omega-6 but low in Omega-3 can increase inflammation. While a balanced diet for each substance will reduce inflammation .
The problem today is that people follow a typical Western diet that is consumed too much Omega-6 compared to Omega-3.
Conclude: Too high levels of Omega-6 and Omega-3 may contribute to inflammation that exceeds the limit and potentially increases the risk of all types of diseases.
What do healthy cultures in the world eat?
The best way to understand how healthy people are is to look at healthy people and not suffer from all the common diseases in the West.
Unfortunately, no industrialized country fits that description. Every country eating an industrial diet suffers from diseases.
So we have to look at non-industrial communities like modern hunter-gatherers.
According to the People who do a lot of research on the non-industrial community show that the ratio of typical Omega-6 and Omega-3 to non-industrial groups ranges from 4: 1 to 1: 4.
The hunter-gatherers almost eat terrestrial animals that have a ratio of 2: 1 to 4: 1. While Inut people mostly consume omega-3 rich seafood with a ratio of 1: 4. Non-industrial communities have a ratio between these two levels.
All of these groups are in great health and without chronic illnesses, which are taking millions of lives away in Western countries.
Remember that none of these communities consume a lot of omega-6. Eat tons of omega-6 then eat plenty of omega-3 to make up for it, this is indeed a bad idea. Use a relatively low amount and balance the content between them the best.
Anthropological evidence also shows that this consumption rate for evolutionary group is 1: 1 while that ratio is about 16: 1 !
Conclude: People who follow a non-industrial diet have a ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 between 4: 1 and 1: 4 and most are between these rates. This ratio is 16: 1 today, much higher than our genetic adaptability.
The problem with rations for Western countries
People eat not only less Omega-3 but also eat a large amount vegetable oil and oil prepared from nuts contains many omega-6.
We simply do not have the technology to produce oil 100 years ago and there is NO time to genetically adapt to high levels of omega-6.
You can see on this graph a sudden increase in the consumption of soybean oil in the US, from 0 to 11 kg (24 pounds) / person / year. This number accounts for 7% of the total calories in 1999 - this is a number great !
Soybean oil is currently the largest source of Omega-6 fatty acids in the United States. Because it is really cheap and is found in all prepared foods.
In the chart below, you can see the amount of Omega-6 fatty acids in the form of stored fat in the body has increased over 200% (tripled) in the past 50 years.
So the unnatural fats we eat are causing a real change, from fat stored in the body to membranes all over the body. This thought is scary.
Many Omega-6 in cell membranes are closely related to the risk of cardiovascular diseases and the effects of inflammation :
There have been many controlled trials, in which people replaced them saturated fat with Omega-6 fats and significantly increased the risk of heart disease .
In contrast, Omega-3 is effective reduction risk of heart disease .
High levels of Omega-6 are also associated with violence and depression . Meanwhile, Omega-3 helps to improve all kinds of neurological disorders like depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder .
Another problem occurs when high levels of omega-6 are double bonds in highly reactive fatty acid molecules.
They tend to react with oxygen and form a chain reaction of free radicals. This can cause damage to molecules inside the cell, which is one of the mechanisms leading to aging and the onset of cancer .
Fortunately, balancing these fatty acid levels is relatively simple.
Conclude: The amount of vegetable oil that is high in Omega-6 consumed has increased significantly in the last 100 years. There is considerable evidence of damage caused by this.
Avoid high-omega-6 vegetable oils
Most importantly, we can reduce the absorption of Omega-6 by avoiding the use of high-Omega-6 oils and seeds, as well as processed foods containing them.
These foods are only known to humans for 100 years and they have completely lost The natural balance of these essential fatty acids.
This is a graph showing some common fats and oils. Avoid all that has high Omega-6 ratio (blue bar).
We can see that butter, coconut oil fat, palm oil and olive oil all have relatively little Omega-6.
Sunflower oil, corn oil, soybean and cottonseed oil are the worst. I recommend avoiding these harmful things.
Please read more information about cooking oil here: The oils used in cooking are healthy.
Note that even supposedly healthy foods may contain vegetable oils. So reading labels very well important !
Soy bean Whole grains contain a lot of omega-6 and should be avoided.
Nuts and nuts contain very high levels of omega-6. But if in pure form, there are many health benefits and extremely beneficial when consumed. Many whole foods also contain a large amount of omega-6.
Conclude: The most important thing you can do to reduce Omega-6 absorption is to remove processed vegetable oils into your diet, as well as processed foods that contain them.
Eat foods rich in omega-3 animal foods
Animal-based foods are the best source of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA.
One problem now is that animals are often fed cereal foods such as soybeans and corn.
This reduces the amount of Omega-3, so that polyunsaturated fat is mainly Omega-6 .
So if you can afford it, the meat from the grass-fed animals is the best. However, meat is also very good, as long as it is unprocessed .
Some types of meat from conventional animals such as chicken and pork are especially high in Omega-6. If you want to reduce your omega-6 intake as much as possible, remember to choose the stray meat.
It is best to buy stocked chicken eggs or omega-3 enriched eggs, which are much higher in omega-3 than those fed with cereal eggs.
So far, the best and healthiest way to increase your Omega-3 intake is to eat seafood once or twice a week. Fatty fish such as salmon are particularly good sources. The wild caught fish is the best but the fish is also good, rather than not having fish.
However, find out what products you are buying and the level of pollution in the area where it is raised.
If you eat a lot of meat and don't eat a lot of seafood, consider adding fish oil. Cod liver oil is best because it contains a lot vitamin D and vitamin A.
There are several plant sources that provide Omega-3 like flaxseed and split seeds. However, they contain a type of Omega-3 called ALA. Humans do not effectively convert ALA into an active form EPA and DHA .
For this reason, sources of Omega-3 taken from animals such as fish and herbivores are the best.
It is important to realize that this is a long-term process.
Most people are storing a large amount Omega-6 fatty acids in the form of stored fat in the body and may take years to get rid of them.
This is a simple guide to optimizing the balance of omega fats:
- Avoid vegetable oils that are high in Omega-6 (as well as processed foods containing them).
- Eat plenty of animal-rich foods rich in Omega-3, including foods from the sea at least once or twice a week.
- If necessary, take omega-3 supplements like fish oil.