Big Fat Misunderstanding

Recommend this page to Google

For several years now we have been encouraged to have less fat in our diet. Ironically as a percentage of fat has decreased in our diets the death rate for degenerative diseases has gone up. We have been encouraged to use polyunsaturated fats rather than saturated fats. The saturated fats, being mostly animal fats, are hard fats and the polyunsaturated being mostly plant oils. Why has not been nearly as well publicized is the importance of the ratio of Omega 6 to omega-3 oils.

Joseph Hibbein, a researcher at the national Institute of health who has done considerable research and written several papers on the ratio between omega-3 and Omega 6 dietary intake stated the following in a recent paper. "The increase in the world LA consumption over the past century may be considered a very large uncontrolled experiment that may have contributed to increase societal burdens of aggression, depression and cardiovascular mortality."

Historically the ratio of Omega 6 to omega-3 was approximately 4 to 1. Today that ratio is more in the neighborhood of 22 to 1. The metabolic pathway for Omega six oils tend to produce inflammation. Whereas, the metabolic pathway of omega-3 tend to produce anti-inflammatory properties.

Several clinical studies have demonstrated that decreasing the Omega 6 to omega-3 ratio protects against chronic and degenerative diseases. One study showed their replacing Corn oil with olive oil and canolal oil to reach an Omega 6 to omega-3 ratio of 4:1 lead to a 70% decrease in total mortality! As you can see there are powerful consequences to this essential fatty acids imbalance. Elevated levels of Omega 6 are associated with an increase of all inflammatory diseases which would include heart disease, obesity, type II diabetes, cancer, and psychiatric disorders to name just a few.

So what can we do to effectively correct this imbalance? First of all we need to become aware of the sources of high levels of Omega 6 and the sources of high levels of omega-3. Safflower, sunflower, corn, cotton seed, soybean oils all contain greater than 50% Omega six. Canola, walnut, flaxseed, Chia seed, and fish are good sources of omega-3.

It should be noted that most of the sources high in Omega 6 are used in cooking and deep fat frying. Omega-3 fatty acids are very sensitive to heat, light, and oxygen. They tend to oxidize very rapidly and become rancid. As a result, omega-3 fatty acids are often removed from processed foods to improve shelf life. The use of olive oil in cooking rather than the other vegetable oils is beneficial in helping to correct the ratio as olive oil is a mono saturated fat.

Omega-3 is converted through an enzyme process into two important derivatives EPA and DHA which are fatty acids important to healthy cells, proper brain function, and good eyesight. A high consumption of Omega 6 interferes with the conversion of omega-3 into these important fatty acids. Even though flaxseed is an excellent source of omega-3 its conversion to these important fatty acids is greatly inhibited by a high intake of Omega 6. A very effective way to help balance the situation is through the use of fish oil. The fish consume algae which is high in omega-3 and convert it to EPA and DHA Thus eliminating the need for the conversion in your body.

Due to a process referred to as biomagnification almost all fish today has measurable amounts of mercury, PCP, and dioxins which are all very toxic to humans. If you choose to supplement your diet with fish oil it is important to get a brand that has been processed using molecular distillation as that is the only way to remove the toxins.

The amount of omega-3 you need to take is dependent upon the amount of Omega 6 that you consume. When you understand that every cell membrane in your body is composed of 50% protein and 50% fat you will begin to realize the magnitude of the problem. High levels of Omega 6 in the cell membrane tend to cause an inflammatory response. This tends to raise the cholesterol and blood pressure.

About the Author::

Through proper diet and supplementation it is not difficult to improve the ratio of Omega 6 to omega-3. In the lifestyle coaching that I do I can provide you with a free software program to help you balance your ratios as well as provide you with information on good supplements. Please contact me at the following website.

No votes yet