An Omega 3 per day Keeps the Doctor Away: Will Omega 3 or Omega 6 Fats Win the Race in your Body?
What would you do if there was a supplement or food that could lower all forms of inflammation in your body, decrease risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke, and make you smarter?
That supplement/food is omega 3 fats. Omega 3 fats came into fashion a few years back, but many did not realize its critical significance for health and longevity.
Omega 3 fats lower inflammation in the body, and omega 6 fats increase inflammation. When animals eat grass, we receive omega 3 fats as a result of consuming them, and when they eat corn or grains we receive omega 6 fats.
Since omega 3 and omega 6 fats compete for first line in the body, whichever is more prevalent will win the race.
The 3 omega’s are ALA, DHA, and EPA.? DHA is essential in brain development. It also can lower cortisol and stress levels in the body.
ALA is found in ground flax seed and is important for hormone stabilization. Studies show the lignan found in flax seeds rids the body of bad hormones which can lead to cancer.
EPA can lower risk of disease states including diabetes and heart disease. It is imperative to get three omega’s to have the most benefit in the body.
Studies show omega 3 fats:
Increase IQ in children whose mother’s took omega 3’s during pregnancy
Lower risk of autoimmune diseases
Lower insulin resistance, heart disease and diabetes
The list of positives is fairly long. If you go to the search engine pubmed which shows abstracts of major studies, and type in omega 3’s, you’ll find at least 20,000 studies in their database.
Are we getting enough omega 3’s? 100 years ago we did not have to worry about getting enough omega 3’s. Our animals ate grass and pre-packaged processed foods did not exist.
In the last few decades our government and control of farms geared our food supply away from the natural way animals ate, which increased our intake of omega 6 fats.
In addition, the food supply is filled with soybean and cottonseed oils, omega 6 seed oils- that require industrial processes to extract the oils, and did not exist 100 years ago.
The hard drive of your body starts in the brain – the way you walk, move, hormone function, etc. If the brain does not get the food it needs, these systems can become compromised.
What can you do for the Omega 3 fats to win the Race in your body?
- Eat grass-fed beef, pastured poultry and eggs
- Eat Wild Fish a few times a week
- Avoid prepackaged processed foods
- Use at least 1 tablespoon per day of ground flax seed
- Take an omega 3 supplement with at least 500 mg. each of DHA and EPA
- Use an oil high in omega 3’s such as extra-virgin olive oil and lower intake of omega 6 oils such as soybean, cottonseed, corn, vegetable, safflower, and sunflower
Your brain and body will thank you and you’ll spend less time visiting your doctor. Maybe the old adage should say “an Omega 3 per day keeps the doctor away.”
September 14, 2010 @ 11:50 am
Interesting post. Omega-3 fatty acids may be more relevant to our well being than saturated fats. Here in Europe, trans fats are not an issue anymore either. I think dr. Danaei has put omega-3 fats nicely into perspective in his review article ( http://bit.ly/ddgpbG ). Omega-3 fats are more significant to US residents than poor PUFA/SFA ratio and equally important as trans fats.
I'd like to read your or other dietitian's post focusing on omega-6 fatty acids. I suspect that this front is not throughly enough studied.
September 14, 2010 @ 9:36 pm
great post, very informative yet concise. I am a big proponent of omega-3's 🙂 I'm glad I stopped by, I like your blog!
September 15, 2010 @ 10:20 am
Omega 3 fats lower inflammation in the body, and omega 6 fats increase inflammation. When animals eat grass, we receive omega 3 fats as a result of consuming them, and when they eat corn or grains we receive omega 6 fats. Thank you for sharing the article.