Let’s face it, maintaining a healthy, BALANCED diet is very hard to accomplish. Even though we have access to the right foods & products, many of us opt for unhealthier options. And a large reason for this is because of cost & cost alone. Unfortunately in our society, it costs a lot more to consume healthy foods than it does to consume unhealthy foods. We understand this. But we also want to educate you on what foods you should be consuming for optimal health.
The Importance of Omega Fatty Acids
What do you think of when you hear the word “Omega 3” or “Omega 6”? Think about that for a second… did you think of fish in any way? Most people do. And that’s because fish are a great source of Omega 3. But what about Omega 6?
The Growing Issue
It’s not just Omega 3 that you should be concerned with, but Omega 6 as well. The real issue is are you overdoing it on Omega 6?
See: Why you also need Cholesterol.
Our diets now have changed quite dramatically with the introduction of processed foods. In many processed meats, cheeses, and even fried foods you will find Omega 6. As a result of this, many of us actually consume TOO MUCH OMEGA 6 and NOT ENOUGH OMEGA 3. This is important.
Did you know that one handful of almonds is enough to meet your Omega 6 daily needs for the entire day? That’s right, just one handful and you’ve hit the daily limit.
Also, popular cooking oils such as sunflower oil, canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, sesame oil, & cottonseed oil all possess a high amount of Omega 6. Olive oil is fine.
Here’s the thing, if you eat out a lot or eat from boxes or packages, then you’re more than likely going way over your Omega 6 limit.
Keep it a 2:1 Ratio
The ideal balance states that you should consume a ratio of 2:1. To help you understand this, for every 2 handfuls of Omega 6, you should have 1 handful of Omega 3. Meeting our Omega 6 is not hard to establish, but we often lack enough Omega 3 to make Omega 6 effective in our bodies, so we encourage you to consume more of these:
• Flaxseed oil
• Fatty fish (i.e. Salmon)
• Chia seeds
Many people prefer to take fish oil supplements as a convenient method of reaching their Omega 3 intake for the day.
What’s the Purpose of Consuming This Ratio?
You’re probably wondering by now, why should I even care? Well, to put it simply – in layman terms – a diet rich in Omega 6 but low in Omega 3 can cause inflammation, but reversing the ratio can reduce inflammation. Too much Omega 6 and not enough Omega 3 to create a perfect balance could result in a lot of popular ailments that we see all of the time: obesity, heart disease, IBS, asthma, autoimmune disorders, cancer, and many other problems.
Dr. David Villarreal offers nutrition counseling in Newbury Park for those looking to make lifestyle changes centered around their diet. Not only will his advice help you lose weight, but will also kickstart your health by increasing your stamina, energy, focus, and self-esteem.