The body uses various types of fatty acids to run smoothly. There are two types of essential fatty acids that the body can’t make. They come from diet. Those two are omega-6 and omega-3. The healthiest blend of the two is 4 to 1, or four times as much omega6 as omega3. Throughout the US, our diet has changed significantly and today people are consuming far more omega-6 fatty acids than they should, consuming a 50 to 1 ratio. To create a healthier balance, you need to raise the amount of omega-3 fatty acids and reduce the amount of omega-6. At Next Level Fitness in Irvine, CA, we can help you make smarter decisions to make the ratio better.
Why should you boost your omega3s?
Inflammation is the cause of many serious conditions. Omega3 reduces inflammation, while also keeping your heart rhythm regular. It also reduces the formation of blood clots and lowers triglycerides in the body. Omega6 also provides a lot of benefits. They lower bad cholesterol levels and the potential for cancer. However, your body needs a balance of the two. Too much omega6 compared to the amount omega3 you eat can result in problems with joints, the pancreas, the heart, your skin and even how stable your mood is.
Boost your omega3 with these foods.
You probably already have heard how healthy fatty fish, such as salmon, herring, sardines or mackeral are. Oysters, walnuts, flaxseed and soybeans are also high in omega3. You can do little things to make sure you improve your omega3 intake, such as adding walnuts or raw Brussels sprouts to salads or sprinkling ground flax seed on top of your cereal. Just a half cup of Brussels sprouts has 12% of the daily required amount. One tablespoon of ground flaxseed provides the daily required amount, if you’re eating the right amount of omega6.
What food should you cut back on to get your omega6/omega3 in balance?
Sunflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil and cottonseed oil are all high in omega6. Eggs are quite controversial. If you eat eggs from factory farms that are fed corn and soy, they’re high in omega6 fatty acids. However, if you eat eggs from free range chickens, which eat insects and greens they forage, they’re high in omega3. Many scientists believe that the higher consumption of vegetable oil that’s high in omega6 and cheaper than those higher in omega3 or with low omega6 content, may be the cause for the high rise of metabolic disease, diabetes and heart disease since the 1950s. Before that date, butter from family farms with grass fed cows and lard was often used.
- If you’re including flaxseed in your diet, get a small coffee grinder and grind the seeds right before adding them to your food to maximize the health benefits. Don’t eat the seeds without grinding. Your body can’t digest them, so you get no benefit.
- While inflammation can create serious problems, you do need it to protect the body from disease. You need both types of fat, just in a better ratio. Too much inflammation may lead to Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, metabolic disease and some types of cancer.
- An imbalance of omega6 to omega3 can exacerbate mental health. Increasing omega3 has shown to help depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. One study showed increasing omega3 lowered the amount of violence in a prison.
- A small study showed that even when eating a healthy diet, one that was higher in omega6 tended to increase fat around the belly area and waistline, even when no weight was gained.
For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness