Omega 3 vs. Omega 6: Why You Should Maintain a Healthy Ratio

Omega 3 vs. Omega 6: Why You Should Maintain a Healthy Ratio

Omega 3 and 6, fatty acids as a balanced combination are important for many bodily functions and the prevention of multiple major diseases:

  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Diabetes

Additionally, Omega 3 and Omega-6 fatty acids help in brain development, cognitive thinking and gene expression. Moreover, if you are on a mission to lose weight you can add Omega-3 and Omega-6 to your diet plan. They will make controlling your appetite easier, reduce inflammation, promote fat burning and support muscle development as well.

Hence, they play a vital role in maintaining an overall well-balanced and healthier life.

The ideal balance between Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids is to consume less Omega-6 induced oils and more Omega-3 sources, natural or supplementations. Many healthcare professionals believe that imbalanced levels between Omega-3 and Omega-6 is the cause of various health hazards, skin conditions, unhealthy habits, mental unclarity and negatively impacts memory as well.

What’s So Special about Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids?

First, let’s understand what are these fatty acids? Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats also known as healthy or good fats. Unfortunately, our body does not create them naturally. We lack the enzymes to do so hence the immense emphasis on their balanced consumption through your diet.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are crucial for promoting brain function, growth and development of gut support, regulate metabolism, and stimulate skin and hair nourishment. Cardiovascular system and endocrine system is also highly supported by these healthy fats.

Low levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids not only causes major diseases but also causes deficiencies which can be a lifelong struggle and lead to multiple expensive treatments and medicines.

One simple way to understand the composition of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids is to see them differently from what we usually call ‘fat’. They don’t get stored in the body neither do they give energy as you might think.

In that case, you might wonder, what do they do then? Read further.

What do Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids Do?

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Well, Omega-3 and Omega-6 prevent blood clotting, inflammation, potential arthritis, metabolic syndrome, heart diseases and even Alzheimer’s. Most importantly, Omega-3 is responsible for having anti-inflammatory properties and Omega-6 possesses pro-inflammatory properties.

Therefore, it’s paramount to intake both these fatty acids in balance to prevent side effects and other major and minor health –related discomforts.

Moving forward, one might think inflammation is not good for the body as it equates to swelling, pain and discomfort and even joint stiffness. Such is not the case. Inflammation on a regular basis is important for the human body to survive as it protects from infections and injuries. It becomes a hazard and the cause of severe health damage when it’s chronic or immoderate.

Lastly, most of the diseases aforementioned like diabetes, arthritis, cancer, heart diseases etc. are to some extent caused or worsened by chronic inflammation. To sustain a well-proportioned diet consisting high levels of Omega-3 and low levels of Omega-6 will greatly aid in reducing inflammation.

How to Avoid Excess Intake of Omega-6 Fatty Acids?

We openly talk about how our intake of processed food is damaging our health and leading to many physical as well as mind-related diseases and disorders. One of the most important and positive changes you can make to make your life better is to alter your diet. Limit your Omega-6 fatty acids consumption through processed vegetable and seed oil and the root of many health concerns, processed food.

Below is a list of vegetable oils and seed oils containing Omega-6 fatty acid. Each has varying degrees of Omega-6 fatty acid in them so you can get an idea of whether to switch your cooking oil or to consume it in lesser amount.

  • Flaxseed oil – 18%
  • Cottonseed oil – 54%
  • Coconut oil – 2% 
  • Palm oil – 10%
  • Canola oil – 21%
  • Safflower oil – 14%
  • Corn oil – 57%
  • Olive oil – 9%
  • Peanut oil – 33%
  • Lard – 9%
  • Sunflower oil – 71%
  • Soybean oil – 54%
  • Butter – 3%
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As you can see, coconut oil, lard, butter, olive oil even palm oil have comparatively lower levels of Omega-6 fatty acid. They are much safer options than sunflower, soybean and cottonseed oil. 

How to Add Omega-3 in Your Diet?

There are many studies that show different ratios of omegas’ consumption for you to obtain a healthy lifestyle and maximum health benefits. However, they somewhat vary from each other but generally 4:1 is considered as the ideal ratio.

However, it is important to clarify this ratio is not for everyone as it doesn’t take into consideration all the factors needed to determine what the best diet is for an individual.

Hence, the healthcare professionals recommend to add more Omega-3 fatty acids either through supplementation like fish oil or by eating fatty fishes like tuna, salmon and mackerel. Additionally, a safe and healthy alternate is to eat flaxseeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds and walnuts if you are allergic to seafood or do not want to opt for supplements.

However, there are no major side effects to consuming Omega-3 supplements as long as it’s prescribed by a professional healthcare practitioner or you have done adequate research yourself. Either way, adding Omega-3 to your diet through natural sources is a far safer and affordable option.

In Conclusion

Understanding the importance and the function of a balanced diet consisting of essential fatty acids is the first step to a healthy lifestyle. It’s always better to be knowledgeable about something before consuming it rather jumping on the bandwagon of the trendy diet plans.

Every individual has specific health and medicinal needs and requirements, consulting a doctor to recommend the right doses. Thus, will ensure you don’t overdose.

Optimize your well-being by embracing the right amount of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fatty acids in your diet. And see the positive changes it brings about to your health. 

Also, a sound and healthy body will let you have a productive and positive mind. As a result, you will see the difference in your professional growth as well.

 

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