Thursday, February 3, 2011

Darn Those Two-faced Omega Fatty Acids!

One of the companies I blog for is a health supply company (; if you wanna read blogs that I write for them then go to the blog). Today, my topic was to write about the difference between Omega 3's and Omega 6's. I must say, as I did my research I was surprised! I guess I assumed that all Omega fatty acids were good-for-you fats. Boy, was I wrong. Omega 3's and Omega 6's are different and it's super important to understand the differences. Here's what I learned:

Omega 3’s...
  • ...are a type of essential fatty acid (that the body cannot produce on its own).
  • ...are primarily found in flax seed, fish, and walnuts.
  • …help to reduce stress, prevent diseases, enable healthy pregnancies and deliveries, reduce obesity, fight cancer, alleviate diabetes, prevent arthritis, reduce inflammation, strengthen hair and nails, and rejuvenates skin.
  • ...are essential for health and well-being. We can never have too many Omega 3’s in our body.
Omega 6’s...
  • ...are a type of essential fatty acid (that the body cannot produce on its own).
  • ...are primarily found in poultry, eggs, nuts, avocados, and vegetable oils.
  • …are essential for health, but can be detrimental in high quantities. Too much of Omega 6 can cancel out the Omega 3 benefits and can lead to diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis.
The optimum ratio of Omega 6’s to Omega 3’s should be about 4:1 or lower. Most western diets have a ratio of about 10:1 and in some instances a ratio of up to 30:1.

So what can we do?

First of all, beware of food packaging that advertises “Omega fatty acids” without specifying that the fatty acids are actually Omega 3’s. Secondly, be mindful of incorporating Omega 3’s into your diet and limit your consumption of too many Omega 6’s.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, this was so helpful! I learned about these last year in my nutrition course, but I think the info got jumbled since then. This really helped to clear it up!