There is a great deal of buzz about the omega fats, specifically omega-3 and omega-6 and the associated “ratio” between the consumption of both. You certainly must have both to be healthy, but it is the combination of the two that is critical.
Without reading the entire article, I can summarize this much for you:
You must eat plenty of fish to be healthy, and avoid as much processed food as possible.
To get absolutely scientific about it requires a great deal of analysis on how much omega 6 you are currently eating.
Chris Kresser’s website is an excellent source for a detailed explanation in which he writes “Over the course of human evloution there has been a dramatic change in the ratio of omega 6 and omega 3 fats consumed in the diet. This change, perhaps more than any other dietary factor, has contributed to the epidemic of modern disease.”
A sampling of oils and foods provides some insight:
Food Omega-6 Omega-3
Safflower 75% 0%
Sunflower 65% 0%
Corn 54% 0%
Canola 20% 9%
Flaxseed 14% 57%
Fish 0% 100%
What happens when you have too much omega 6 and not enough omega 3? You have inflammatory diseases and very bad skin and hair.
There are volumes of information on the Internet to help you figure out your dietary habits and its impact. But your body is probably even better. If you suffer from the list of diseases below (taken from Chris Kresser’s article mentioned above) you might benefit from a change in diet:
- cardiovascular disease
- type 2 diabetes
- metabolic syndrome
- irritable bowel syndrome & inflammatory bowel disease
- macular degeneration
- rheumatoid arthritis
- psychiatric disorders
- autoimmune diseases
Some people need more convincing or scientific evidence, which I agree is excellent if you have current health issues. If you need a blood test to verify your Omega ratio, Life Extension Foundation has the simple blood test available to anyone: www.lef.org and search for omega blood test using their search function.
As always, your doctor can help you with your specific health issues, so always consult a doctor before making any changes in your diet, lifestyle, or medications!