Archive for December, 2011

It may pay to consider what your Omega 3 Omega 6 ratio is.

We talk a lot about Omega 3 essential fatty acids on our website, and for good reason, they’re extremely important to your health, as long as you get enough. But today we wanted to look at Omega 6 fatty acids, and what the Omega 3 Omega 6 ratio is. And how it affects you.

Omega 6 fats are also essential fatty acids. Omega 6 is like Omega 3, we can’t make it in our bodies and so we need to get Omega 6 from our diet. However unlike Omega 3 fatty acids, which 90% if us are deficient in, we are not generally deficient in Omega 6 fats. Omega 6 fats are important for a number of reasons, including for maintenance of growth and for good general health. They are important for maintaining the health of the cells in the brain.

Omega 6 fatty acids can also go by the names n-6 fatty acids, w6 fatty acids and linoleic acids.

So whilst we need Omega 6 EFAs in our diet just like we need Omega 3, most of us get enough, if not too much, or way too much.
Omega 6 oils

Omega 6 fats come from completely different sources than the Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 6 fats are found in plant sources like many of our oils, particularly corn oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil, sesame oil and peanut oil. Soybean oil is almost all Omega 6 fat.

And because many of these oils are used in the production of many of the processed foods we eat, like margarine, they are also found extensively in a wide range of foods we eat every day.

On top of that our meat is now higher in Omega 6 than it was. In the past our beef came from grass fed animals. Cows that eat grass are higher in Omega 3, because it’s found in grass. But now our animals are mainly grain fed, and as you can see the oils from grains are high in Omega 6. So our meat is now much higher in Omega 6 than it was.

Now on to the Omega 3 Omega 6 ratio. It is thought that some time ago we ate roughly as much Omega 3 as we ate Omega 6, That makes an Omega 3 Omega 6 ratio of 1:1. (And you need to change that.)

However our diets have swung much more in favor of a higher intake of Omega 6, and a much lower intake of Omega 3, from eating less fish and from less Omega 2 in meat.

Some scientists suggest that some of us may have an Omega 6 Omega 3 ratio that is as high as 10 times as much 6 as 3. So as you can see we don’t need any more Omega 6. Some estimates are even that some of us can be eating more than 20 times as much Omega 6 as 3, and we have even seen estimates of a ratio of 30 times as much Omega 6 as 3.

Although not fully understood it is thought that a diet high in 6 and low in 3 can lead to some health problems, and that our Omega 3 Omega 6 ratio should be somewhere much lower than it is now, perhaps around 1:3.

A high ratio, it is thought, can lead to thickening of the blood possibly leading to blood clots, a worsening of some autoimmune diseases and an increase in some inflammatory diseases, and more, including cancer. A lower ratio can is associated with a lower breast cancer risk. And there is a wide range of lifestyle diseases that are thought to be susceptible to a high ratio between the 2, including many that are related to inflammation in the body.

So there are 2 things you need to do if  you want to improve your ratio and lessen your risk of various diseases, some serious. You need to lower your intake of Omega 6 by lowering your intake of processed foods and oils, for instance by changing to good oils such as Olive Oil.

And you need to increase your intake of Omega 3 EFAs, by eating more fish or by daily supplementation with high quality fish oil supplements.

Remember, although all essential fatty acids are essential, that doesn’t mean you don’t get enough of them. It seems clear that we get quite enough Omega 6 fats, and that we need to be getting less of them.

Update: A study was undertaken in 2011 to actually identify how our consumption of Omega 6 has changed in the 20th century. Amongst the authors of the study was Joseph Hibbeln, who was have referred to on this site before. Dr Hibbeln is one of the more well known experts in the field of the health benefits of the Omega 3 fatty acids.

The study confirmed we have said here, that there has been a noticeable increase in the intake of Omega 6 fats over the last century.

In fact it was found that since 1909, where the omega 6 fats (as linoleic acide, the form found in the oils from seeds, which are high on our diet now) provided around 2.3 percent of daily calories, that figure has now increased, since 1999, to 7.2 percent, making a 213 percent increase over that 90 year period.

And there was a decrease in the intake of DHA and EPA.

And the study also noted that the consumption of oil from soybeans increased more than 1000 times, which, according to the authors has “likely decreased tissue concentrations of EPA and DHA during the 20th century”.

To read the study click here.

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Are you worried about taking drugs? Want to know how to lower your triglycerides naturally with a no risk product and some lifestyle changes?

Everyone knows about cholesterol. Good cholesterol, bad cholesterol, high cholesterol foods and so on. But triglycerides? Finding answers to the question of how to lower  your triglycerides usually starts with another question. What are triglycerides?

Everyone knows fat is bad for you. But is that true? No it’s not. Some fats are bad for you and some fats are good for you. Triglycerides are a form of fat and they’re one of the ones that are bad for you.

There’s all sorts of chemical explanations about what they are, but lets simplify it down for you. Triglycerides are a form of fat that is found in your blood. They get in your blood from what you eat.

Triglycerides are also formed in the body from the fats in the food you eat. This takes place while your food is being digested. Not all triglicerides are fat based, some can be formed from carbohydrates as well.How To Lower Your Triglycerides Naturally

So why do some people have too high a level of triglycerides in their blood, which they should be lowering? From what they eat, from being overweight and from drinking too much alcohol. They can also come from various health conditions.

What foods are more likely to cause high levels? Those high in fats, and in particular saturated fat. Also high sugar foods. These are foods that you don’t want to eat too much. What you need to eat is foods to lower triglycerides.

What is the problem with too much triglycerides in the blood? They can lead to blood clots, which isn’t a good thing, and they can also cause your HDL (good cholesterol) to lower. Both of those are bad. Basically it’s linked to coronary artery disease.

And high triglycerides can be a risk factor in diabetes and thyroid problems as well as kidney disease. They can also contribute to health problems caused by high cholesterol.

So lets now look at how to lower triglycerides. If yours are too high you need to know this.

1. Eat the right diet to lower triglycerides. Foods that are lower in fat, fresh and good for your health. More fresh fruit and vegetables. Less high fat foods, less sugar. Cook with Olive oil or Canola oil.

2. Exercise more. Exercise helps a lot, and is good for you in so many other ways.

3. Lower your intake of alcohol.

4. Try to reduce your weight if it’s excessive.

5. Increase your intake of Omega 3 polyunsaturated fats. For example instead of eating steak tonight, eat an oily fish full of good Omega 3 fats.

The role of Omega 3 fish oils in lowering triglycerides.

It is now well established that increasing your intake of Omega 3 fats, found primarily in fish oils, is an important part of a good diet to lower triglycerides.

The American Heart Association tells us that we need to increase our intake of fish or fish oil supplements to combat a whole range of different heart conditions, including high triglycerides. That’s because fish and fish oil supplements are the best source of Omega 3 fats, and Omega 3s are a very important part of the best diets to lower triglycerides as well as an important part of our overall health generally.

Omega 3 fats are one of the good fats. Remember I said, not all fats are bad.

So if you’ve been wondering about how to lower your triglcyerides naturally, you do have options. There are well recognized ways to do this, including some dietary and lifestyle changes.

Look more closely at what you eat. Take time to exercise more, lose a little weight and increase your intake of protective Omega 3 fats from taking daily fish oil supplements and you’re on top of it.

Lastly, always consult your doctor. It’s always important for any health condition to do that.

How do you lower your triglycerides? Do all that and you’re on your way.

Note, more recent update. More and more we are reading about not only the health benefits of the Omega 3 fats, including to those with elevated triglycerides, but we are also seeing more and more about the negative health affects of too much Omega 6. Whilst we don’t intend to canvas the issue of Omega 3 vs Omega 6 in this article, we do suggest you consider not only the health benefits of Omega 3 but the negative effects of eating too much Omega 6.

To this end read our article about the Omega 3 Omega 6 ratio.

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