What Is the Omega 3 Omega 6 Ratio

There has been much talk recently about the importance of adding more Omega 3 essential fatty acids to your diet. And of course that’s quite correct, if you’re like millions of other Americans you certainly need to add more Omega 3 fatty acids to your diet.

But have you ever heard of an Omega 6? You see there are more essential fatty acids than just those known as the Omega3 fats.

And even if you’ve heard of Omega 6 you know what the Omega3 Omega 6 ratio is?

It is now pretty common knowledge that the Omega 3 essential fatty acids DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) which are commonly found in the oil of fish are extremely important to your health, and that most of us are now eating way too little of these essential fatty acids due to the decline over the last century in eating fish and other seafoods.

Other Omega fatty acids exist as well however. Omega 6 is one of them. And whilst one of the major health benefits of omega 3 fats is that they help reduce inflammation in the body, one of the major causes of so many lifestyle diseases, Omega 6 fats increase inflammation.

Omega 6 fats are found in a range of foods, most of which we are now eating more of than we did a century ago. For example meat, including chicken, is high in Omega 6 fats, and in particular non-grass fed beef. As our beef is now primarily grain fed the amount of Omega 6 in our beef has increased.The omega 3 omega 6 ratio

However there is also a silent supplier of Omega 6 in our diet which you may not have thought of. It’s oils, primarily the oils that find their way into so many of our processed foods. Vegetable oils are a good example.

And in particular “hydrogenated” oils. These include corn, canola and safflower oil and more, and because they are cheap they are added to many of the foods that we all regularly eat.

Now to the Omega 6 Omega 3 ratio. It’s a ratio of our intake of both fats. In the past it was about 2:1, or in other words we ate twice as much Omega 6 as Omega 3, which is pretty healthy. Some say it was 1:1.

But because of drastic changes in the American diet over the last century estimates are is now anywhere from 10:1 to 20:1 or even more. We’re eating way too much 6 and not enough 3.

You may have heard of the healthy Mediterranean diet. One of the major advantages of this type of diet is its healthy Omega 6 Omega 3 ratio.

There are serious health implications for this. Whilst 6 also has significant health benefits too much of it is not a good thing, particularly when your intake of 3 is too low.

What do you do about this? You need to reduce your ratio, both by eating less Omega 6 and by eating more Omega 3. By far the simplest and most cost effective way of increasing your intake of Omega 3 essential fatty acids is taking fish oil supplements.

And the best way to reduce your intake of Omega 6 is to reduce your intake of processed foods, and when you are cooking use healthy sources of oil such as olive oil rather than vegetable oils.

Because taking fish oil supplementsĀ is only part of the good health equation.

If you follow that simple formula, eat more Omega 3 essential fatty acids and reduce your intake of Omega 6 fats you are well on your way to a much healthier lifestyle.

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