Omega 6 and 3 fats: Which to eat and which to avoid

<p><img style=”float: right;” title=”omega 6 and 3 fats copy.jpg” src=”http://functionalhealthminute.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/omega-6-and-3-fats-copy-1.jpg” alt=”omega 6 and 3 fats copy” width=”320″ height=”250″ border=”0″ /></p>
<p>For decades, media experts have promoted a diet high in omega 6 fats — found in corn, soybean, canola, and safflower — to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. We now know excess omega 6 fatty acids is connected to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, psychiatric issues, and cancer.</p>
<p>Omega 3 fats, however, are linked with lowered inflammation, better brain function, and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.</p>
<p>Our grandparents ate a much different ratio of <a href=”http://drhyman.com/blog/2016/01/29/why-oil-is-bad-for-you/” target=”_blank”>omega 6 to omega 3</a> fatty acids than we do; omega 3-rich wild and grass-fed meats were the norm, and traditional omega 3 fats such as butter and lard were always on hand.</p>
<h2>Omega 6 fats promote chronic illness</h2>
<p>Introducing processed seed, nut, and bean oils into our diet while reducing grass-fed and wild fats has resulted in Americans becoming deficient in essential omega 3 fats, while having way too many omega 6 fats on board.</p>
<p>In addition, these processed oils are commonly chemical-laden and rancid, carrying toxic free radicals that promote inflammation throughout the body.</p>
<p>Many studies show a connection between inflammation and chronic health issues. It’s common knowledge in the medical world that omega 6 oils encourage inflammation in the body. They also reduce the availability of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats in your tissues, resulting in even more systemic inflammation.</p>
<p>Even more, they reduce conversion of plant-based omega 3 fats into essential, active forms of omega 3s called EPA and DHA—by about 40 percent!</p>
<p>Over consuming omega 6 fats and under consuming omega 3 fats significantly increases the risk of:</p>
<ul>
<li>Heart disease</li>
<li>Obesity</li>
<li>Pre-diabetes</li>
<li>Type 2 diabetes</li>
<li>Inflammatory bowel syndrome</li>
<li>Rheumatoid arthritis</li>
<li>Asthma</li>
<li>Cancer</li>
<li>Autoimmunity</li>
</ul>
<p>In addition, consuming too many omega 6 acids increases the likelihood of mental illness and suicide, due to the connection between inflammation and <a href=”http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3535180/” target=”_blank”>mental health</a> issues.</p>
<h2>Which fats should I eat?</h2>
<p>While we do need some omega 6 fats in our diet, we need a higher ratio of omega 3 fats to keep inflammation in check. It’s easy to get plenty of omega 6 fats in the American diet, so our focus needs to be on getting enough omega 3 fats.</p>
<p>Fats that protect the brain and reduce inflammation include:</p>
<ul>
<li>Extra-virgin, cold-pressed, organic coconut oil—which is anti-inflammatory and may help improve your cholesterol numbers. It also handles medium to medium-high cooking heat.</li>
<li>Unrefined, extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil.</li>
<li>Avocados and avocado oil.</li>
<li>Nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia; avoid peanuts.</li>
<li>Grass-fed meats and butter, which have about 7 times the omega 3 fats that conventionally-raised beef has (which is near zero).</li>
<li>Fatty cold-water fish such as sardines, herring, salmon and mackerel, which are all rich in omega 3 fats.</li>
</ul>
<p>With the epidemic of inflammation-based chronic health issues skyrocketing today, it’s important to reduce your risks for inflammation. Changing the fats you eat is one easy way to boost anti-inflammatory effects. If you have concerns or questions regarding your diet, or your level of inflammation, please contact my office.</p>

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