Omega Fatty Acid May Be a Villian in your Diet!

Posted on August 7, 2010 by


Unless you’ve recently been exploring the outermost regions of our galaxy without your Smartphone, you’ve heard about the benefits of Omega fatty acids. Specifically about Omega-3 fatty acids and this distinction is more important than you might realize.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids – while required for human health, they are not produced by the body. You can only get them through your diet and they are found in fish such as salmon, tuna, halibut and mackerel, nut oils, algae, krill and in some plants. Omega-3 fatty acids are critical to optimal brain function and normal development.

Consider, too, that research indicates that Omega-3 may reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and arthritis, aid in cognitive brain function, and may also improve behavioural issues. Recommended daily intake of Omega-3 is 1.1 grams for most women and 1.6 grams for men.

So, where’s the villain?

Recent studies have revealed some interesting results – it is crucial to balance Omega-3 and Omega-6 (also an essential fatty acid) in your diet. While Omega-3 (Alpha-Linoleic Acid) helps to reduce inflammation, many Omega-6 (Linoleic Acid) fatty acids tend to exacerbate inflammation. Omega-6 fatty acids come from sources such as flax and hemp seed oils and meat. While Omega-6 fatty acids are necessary for health, Western diets contain far too high a ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3. This imbalance can negate the healthful benefits of both nutrients.

Studies have shown that a healthy balance is 2:1, in favour of Omega-3 (two ALA to every one LA). Here’s the scary statistic – most Western diets contain up to 40 times MORE Omega-6 (LA) than Omega-3 (ALA)! Even more alarming? This may be causing ‘inherited obesity’. When the intake of Omega-6s and Omega-3s is unbalanced, factors that induce obesity may be enhanced and induce an enhancement in fat mass over generations.

A recent study published in the Journal of Lipid Research suggests that a deficiency in Omega-3 combined with a chronic excess of Omega-6 could lead to trans-generational weight gain. Interestingly, the research also indicates the onset of disorders such as insulin resistance as generations advance.

Please take a moment to read details here around this research published in the Journal of Lipid Studies. It’s a quick read and will mean the world to you and generations that follow you.

Remember, while supplements are an excellent accessory to your diet, it is critical to eat fresh foods. Get your nutrition from as close to the source as you can! Avoid fast and fried foods; dark green and colourful vegetables, steamed or poached fish, whole ancient grains, fresh garlic, and fresh fruits are the way to go. You can even enjoy an occasional glass of wine!

Thanks for your time and look forward to your comments! Live Long & Strong.

Yours in Health,
Dr Phil the Wellness Consultant

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