When it comes to a healthy diet, many people think that they should cut down on fats to stay fit. The strategy works fine for trans fats as they are not good for our health. On the contrary, there are certain fats which are very important for our body and our body can’t make them on its own. Such fats are called essential fats. We have to take all the essential fats through dietary sources. The two main essential fats are omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids.
Omega-3 vs Omega-6; What’s The Catch
Although both of them are needed for optimum health, there is a catch. We need to have both in the right balance to stay healthy. Our body is genetically designed to handle the ratio of 1-4:1 of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. So, if you had muffins in the evening; you should consider having salmon fish for dinner to balance out the consumption of the two fatty acids.
What Is The Ratio of Omega-6 To Omega-3 In Our Diets
With the major dietary shift that has taken place, the consumption of omega-6 fats has grown many folds as compared to that of omega-3. You will be surprised that we are consuming omega-6 to omega-3 in the ratio of almost 15:1. Fast food, packaged and processed items, bread, dairy, egg, chicken, pork, beef, corn or vegetable oil, muffins or cookies are all rich in omega-6. Consumption of the aforementioned things has already given us more omega-6 than needed.
Alright! Enough With The Numbers. Why Does The Ratio Matter
The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is crucial because studies reported that maintaining 3-4:1 may help in combating inflammation in arthritis and mortality rate in cardiovascular disease. The research also reported that increasing only 5 degrees of omega-6, showed adverse effects in asthma patients.
Due to similar chemical structure, both omega-6 and omega-3, are digested by the same enzyme. That’s where the race begins. At times, the over-consumption of omega-6 outperforms omega-3 and we miss out on the immense health benefits of omega-3.
Why Do We Need Omega-3 More Than Omega-6
Although omega-6 is needed to increase HDL (good cholesterol) and decrease LDL (bad cholesterol) in the body, yet we already consume way more than needed omega-6. The over-consumption of omega-6 may lead to many problems such as:
- Omega-6 fats promotes inflammation, which in turn, leads to many other chronic ailments like rheumatoid arthritis.
- Omega-6 fats may also increase blood pressure causing a stroke or heart attack.
- Overconsumption of omega-6 may also cause your body to retain water.
- Omega-6 fats may also lead to obesity and type-2 diabetes.
On the contrary, it is recommended to consume more omega-3 fats as most of us consume it barely enough to meet our needs. It is especially found in abundance in fish and seafood. Experts recommend consuming wild fish or wild seafood twice a week as they are rich sources of omega-3. Consumption of omega-3 fats has been linked to various health benefits.
What are the Benefits of Omega-3
Studies reveal that omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory. They play a crucial role in achieving optimum health of the brain, heart, eye, joints, skin. Consumption of wild fish and wild, sustainable seafood, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, reduces the risk of macular degeneration (loss of vision in old age), hair loss, dementia, Alzheimer, osteoporosis, irritable bowel syndrome, atherosclerosis, diabetes, autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases. The Inuit population was the first to evidence these benefits as their diets consisted of cold-water fatty fish, known to be rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
What Should I Eat To Get More Omega-3?
Wild seafood such as spot prawns, live Dungeness crab, uni (sea urchin gonads), and fatty fish such as wild salmon, wild tuna, wild mackerel, wild herring, wild halibut, wild sablefish, and wild trout are rich sources of omega-3. In order to buy seafood or fish, always go for fresh or flash-frozen and wild-caught because farmed fish is less desirable than the those that have grown naturally in their natural habitats; oceans, rivers or lakes. You can also buy seafood online from us, here at BC Live Spot Prawns and Seafood, as we are delivering sustainable seafood and fatty fish to you for countless health benefits!