Omega 3 vs Omega 6
Essential Fattty Acid Benefits
Essential Fatty Acids, (EFA's) such as omega 3 vs omega 6 are considered "essential" because they are required for optimal health but cannot be produced by our bodies, and, therefore, must be consumed daily through diet or supplementation.
The EFA's we consume reside in our cell membranes, where they impact every biological process in our bodies such as cell division, circulation and blood pressure, pain, and inflammation. Without adequate intake of EFA's, cells cannot function properly and your overall health is compromised.
The omega 3:6 essential fatty acid benefits are beyond a doubt, the most important component of nutrition and human health. Other than blood sugar regulation, there is no more important piece when you are working to optimize the diet and prevent "dis-ease".
Omega 3 vs Omega 6
There are two families of EFA's: omega-3 and omega-6. You will also see these referred to as n3 and n6 in some literature. Each have different biological effects and a healthy diet contains an nice even balance of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
When you review the below list, it shows inflammatory. We need some inflammation to respond to sites of injury or illness. Abundance however, is causing illness.
Not all omega 6 fatty acids are inflammatory. Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) for example is anti-inflammatory and can be converted from your dietary omega 6 sources as long as your vitamin and mineral status is in order.
Omega 3 vs Omega 6 Food Sources:
Prior to our factory farming practices and increase intake of polyunsaturated vegetable oils, our Omega 3 vs Omega 6 status was in a ratio of about 1:1 or 1:3, a nice almost even amount. Currently, the Standard American Diet shows a ratio of about 1:25 and in some cases, up to 1:50. This is pro-inflammatory and inflammation is at the root of all disease.
Omega 3 Foods
Some nutritionists will promote Walnuts and Flax as healthy omega 3 sources, however, the omega 6 content in wlanuts interefere with the omega 3 vs omega 6 ratio favoring omega 6 and in studies, there is about a 1% conversion rate for Flax to the long chain polyunsaturated omega 3 known as DHA.
Omega 6 Foods
Because of the imbalanced EFA ratio in even the healthiest Western diets, suplementation is the best way to bring our EFA intake back into balance. Research shows that a high-quality, purified fish oil supplement is the best source of the most important omega 3's that we're missing which we refer to as Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA).
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