Anti-Inflammatory Diet: How to Balance Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Tilt the omega fats balance in your favor and turn your body into a powerful anti-inflammatory machine.
Good summary of the importance of a correct Omega 3:6 balance by THE CONCIOUS LIFE to follow on from yesterday’s post on high levels (higher than stated here) of fish oils and benefits to performance
In my last article of chronic inflammation, I mentioned that one of the causes of rogue inflammation is the imbalance levels of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in our diet. This may come as a surprise to some people as we have been brought up to believe that vegetable oils, where most of our omega-6 fats come from, are supposed to be good for health.
If we examine this imbalance closer, it is not hard to see why it is so prevalent. After all, ‘heart-healthy’ vegetable oils such as soybean, safflower, sunflower, corn and cottonseed oil are found in almost every food that we eat, even those served at high-end restaurants and in our own homes. But unknown to many, the high omega-6 and low omega-3 fats profile in these oils (as much as 200:1!) is setting the stage for chronic inflammation to take place.
Even health-conscious individuals can unwittingly tip the omega fats balance against themselves.Even health-conscious individuals can unwittingly tip the omega fats balance against themselves. You can avoid all convenience foods, or even be a strict vegetarian, and yet still have an overwhelming levels of omega-6 fats intake.
The truth is, many healthful foods found in specialty stores are coated with a layer of cheap vegetable oil to enhance their taste and texture. You can be munching on a bag of roasted nuts, thinking that you are supplying your body with potent proteins, minerals and vitamins. But unwittingly, along with the nuts, you are also ingesting a high amount of omega-6 fats that are quietly derailing your best efforts to promote health.
If unchecked, the imbalance between the two omega fats can wreak havoc on our health and pave the way for life-destroying illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, cancer and other inflammatory diseases.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fats: A Balancing Act
… diet that is high in omega-6 fatty acids disrupts the balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory agents …Why is it so important to strike a balance between the levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fats in our body? Study showed that an out-of-balance diet that is high in omega-6 fatty acids disrupts the balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory agents in the body, promoting chronic inflammation and elevating the risk of health problem such as asthma, allergies, diabetes and arthritis.
It turned out that omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids both utilize the same enzymes and transport systems to produce biochemicals in our body. When there are more omega-6 fats, greater amounts of inflammatory compounds will be created, and lesser enzymes will be available for omega-3 fats to create chemicals that are anti-inflammatory. What’s even more shocking is that high levels of omega-6 fatty acids can actually replace and reduce omega-3 fats.
In other words, omega-3 and omega-6 fats compete with one another in our body, and the presence of one greatly affects the behavior of the other. Although omega-6 fatty acids are essential for good health, when they cross a certain level, researchers believe that is when they start to edge out omega-3 fats and diminish their benefits.
What does this mean to you? Picture this: If your diet is low in omega-3 fats to begin with, and most of your foods are predominantly prepared with soybean, sunflower, safflower, corn or cottonseed oil, then you are essentially fueling an inflammatory factory even though you may be eating the so-called ‘healthy’ foods!