Omega 3 and 6 Ratios
The importance of the omega-6/omega-3 ratio
Get to know the importance of maintaining a good balance of omega-6 and 3.
We all know that omega-3s and omega-6s are important for our body to function. However, there are studies that show the ‘ratio’ of these two are the actual key to a healthier, happier life.
Studies have shown that the optimal level of omega-3 to 6 ratios is 2:1 to 4:1. However, due to our western diet containing so many omega-6s, an average person with a western diet has a ratio of 15:1 omega-6 to omega-3. Some studies suggest that this is believed to be the issue behind inflammatory-related health issues such as arthritis.
Lowering Omega-6 can help your health
Our western diet contains a lot of Corn and Soy Oil because they are abundant and cheap so they are used in most of our cooking, especially in our processed foods. These corn and soy oils are extracted using toxic solvents such as hexane, and has been red flagged as a carcinogen by the American Cancer Society. Corn and Soy oil largely contain omega-6s and this also can lead to inflammation and other health risks.
Here are some reasons why you should reduce intake of corn and soy oil in order to reduce omega-6 intake:
Omega 6 is not stable. These oils contain high levels of omega-6 and when heated at high temperature (Fast food fries and burgers) the Omega-6 oxidises, meaning that they become off/rotten/rancid.
Oxidised Omega-6 damages DNA, inflames the heart and cause/risk cancer and causes heart attack.
Omega-6 fats convert to another fatty acid called arachidonic acid, and arachidonic acid is a building block for molecules that can promote inflammation, blood clotting, and the constriction of blood vessels
Chronic inflammation can increase your risk for diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.
*NOTE: Not all inflammations are bad. Inflammation is required in our body to fight against things that harm it, such as infections, injuries, and toxins, in an attempt to heal itself. Only excessive inflammation due to a bad diet causes common health issues.
Increasing Omega-3 can help your health
Higher levels of omega-3 have been shown to show many health benefits:
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Reduced risk of blood clots because omega-3 fatty acids help prevent blood platelets from clumping together.
- Keeping the lining of the arteries smooth and free of damage that can lead to thick, hard arteries. This helps keep plaque from forming in the arteries.
- Lowering triglyceride levels by slowing the rate they form in the liver. High levels of triglycerides in the blood increase the risk of heart disease.
- Less inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids slow the production of substances that are released during the inflammatory response.
Overall, my recommendation is for all of you to increase your intake of omega-3s by eating more omega-3 rich foods. If you are not big on seafood, taking omega-3 supplements is the next best alternative. Please remember to ensure that the seafood of your choice is sustainably caught and is free from heavy metals. If you are unsure which seafood is sustainable and are free from heavy metals - I highly recommend trying green lipped mussels. They are delicious, nutritious and are good for you and the environment.