“Omega” seems to be a buzz word these days. Products tout, Packed with omega 3, 6, and 9s. But what does this mean for you?
In a word, inflammation. Inflammation is the chronic root of all disease, including heart disease.
Inflammation can actually be a helpful defense for the body– it acts as your body’s natural defense to bad bacteria and toxins, protecting your body and helping it heal in short instances. The problem occurs when it is chronic, i.e. when we are continually exposed to aggravation/harmful substances, including SUGAR and processed foods.
So back to these omegas. Omega 6’s, while essential for cellular function, need to be in a balance with omega 3’s. When they are out of balance, inflammation is what results.
Consumption of too many omega 6s, found in vegetable oils and processed foods, creates an imbalance in the body, contributing to inflammation.
Dr. Dwight Lundell, past Chief of Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital, sites a 3:1 ratio to be healthy and balanced. The ratio for a typical American tends to run anywhere from 15:1 to 30:1. That’s a whole lot o’ omega 6’s, and a whole lot o’ resulting inflammation.
So where can these harmful omega 6’s be found? Look to your vegetable oils: soybean, canola, and sunflower oil. These oils are often used because they are cheap and can prolong shelf life, but they are a nightmare for your body.
The main takeaways:
- Focus on getting more omega 3s in your diet: fish (mackerel, cod, anchovies, salmon, herring…), chia seeds, hemp hearts, egg yolks, walnuts
- Vegetable oil is a buzzword and misleading: Steer clear of damaging vegetable oils like soybean, canola, corn, and “partially-hydrogenated” anything. Focus on healthy oils like cold-pressed coconut and olive oil.
- An imbalance of omega 6s to omega 3s contributes to inflammation: The American diet tends to be high in omega 6s, found in vegetable oils and processed foods