Clients at Next Level Fitness in Irvine, CA, often ask about the benefits of having a good balance of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids. While the ration should be approximately four omega 6 to one omega three, the average American diet is anywhere between ten omega 6 to one omega 3 all the way to 50 omega 6 to one omega 3. It’s pretty obvious that something needs to be done to get back in balance. That means eating less food with omega 6 and boosting the omega 3 foods.
Why is it important to have a good balance of fatty acids?
Inflammation flares when you have too much omega 6, so do foul, aggressive moods and aggression. Omega 3 promotes brain health, increases good cholesterol, reduces triglycerides, lowers blood pressure and is basically heart healthy. It helps reduce the symptoms of ADHD, lowers the risk of cancer and so much more. Omega 6 does provide energy for the body, but the truth is, we just eat too much of it. Omega 6 is found in corn and soybean oil, mayonnaise, walnuts, almonds, cashews and sunflower seeds. Since it’s high in foods fried in vegetable oils, eliminating fried food helps lower your intake.
How can you boost your omega 3 through diet?
Some of the same foods that are high in omega 6 are also high in omega 3. Walnuts and sunflower seeds for example are two of them. Walnuts have a ratio of four grams of omega 6 to one gram of omega 3, which is the perfect balance. However, peanuts are at the other end of the extreme, with a ratio of approximately 1700 to 1, so if you are hungry for nuts, go for walnuts or macadamia nuts, which are also good. The best sources of omega 3 come from the sea. Fatty fish, like salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines are extremely high in omega 3.
These veggies also provide omega 3.
Those little mini cabbages, Brussels sprouts, are excellent sources of omega 3. There’s approximately 12% of the daily recommended amount in just one cup. Toss a few in your salad raw or roast them and add. While you’re at it, grind some flaxseed and sprinkle on the salad and put in a few anchovies. Both will boost your omega 3 intake. Flaxseed oil can also be used as alternative to butter.
- Ghee, clarified butter, is high in omega 9, another fatty acid. It has no omega 6 or omega 3, so it won’t disrupt the balance and has a high smoke point. That makes it a good choice for frying and sauteing food.
- Even though flaxseed oil is a good alternative to other oils high in omega 6, it’s not useful for frying food. It has a very low smoke point, where the oil changes composition, losing health benefits in the process.
- Other vegetables, besides Brussels sprouts, that will increase the amount of omega 3 in your diet include kale, broccoli, cauliflower and spinach.
- Your overall mental health is dramatically affected by what you eat. For instance, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression are all positively affected by increasing omega 3 fatty acids.
For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness