Real Estate admin  

The need to balance your omega-6 and omega-3 fats

Much has been written about the health benefits of vegetable oils compared to animal fats. It’s gotten to the point where the balance has tipped far to the side of vegetable oils in the typical Western diet, and this imbalance puts us at increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, to name a few. We get much of these omega-3 fats in our diet today from vegetable oils and processed foods, and instead of making us healthier, they are the cause of many of our health problems.

When we look at our intake of omega-6 fats and omega-3 fats, the key to these fats providing optimal health is the balance between the two. Although animal fats get a bad rap, both are essential. But with the increasing amount of processed foods and foods cooked in vegetable oils at high temperatures in our diets, we now consume far too many omega-6 fats, both in total and in proportion to our omega-3 intake.

When we talk about a diet high in omega-6 fats, what type of diet are we talking about? Think of the typical diet of the American South, which is known for its chicken and other fried foods. In a recent test conducted by the University of Alabama Birmingham, it was found that those who ate this diet on a regular basis had a 41% increased risk of stroke. When other factors such as obesity, smoking and lack of physical activity were removed, there was still a 30% increased risk of stroke.

It’s not just that people eat too much omega-6 fat, but what happens to them when they’re subjected to excessive heat. They are very chemically unstable, and when overheated during processing or cooking, they literally break down chemically. Also, if they are not consumed quickly they become rancid. This is due to the oxidation process they go through. Depending on the type of oil and the temperature, this breakdown and the formation of toxic chemical compounds it produces will depend on the oil and the temperature. The free radicals that will be released are the ones that can cause cancer and many other health problems.

So what can we do to balance our omega-3 and omega-6? Some of the sources of omega-6 fats are corn, soybean and canola oil, margarine, shortening and hydrogenated fats. Almost all processed and packaged foods contain one of these oils. Acceptable oils to balance omega 6 and 3 are extra virgin olive oil, avocado, coconut oil and organic butter. Also, meat that is exclusively grass-raised or free-range diets is very good. These would include venison and other game, but would not include traditionally raised cattle, because they are typically fed grain before being slaughtered.

Another option is omega-3 supplementation, and probably the best option here is krill oil. It is much more absorbable than omega-3 fish oil, making it up to 48 times more potent. But the key is to limit your intake of omega-6 fats, and that comes from cutting out processed, prepackaged, and fried foods as much as possible.

Leave A Comment