Omega 6 and 3
By Dr. Mercola
The researchers conclude that getting up to 10 percent of your calories from omega-6 fatty acids such as corn oil, is safe and reduces heart disease risk compared with lower intakes, stating:
"To reduce omega-6 PUFA intakes from their current levels would be more likely to increase than to decrease risk for coronary heart disease."
Folks don't blindly follow this recommendation.
First, of all nearly all corn is GMO, but even if it wasn't it is highly processed and will not perform the function it was designed to. It would be FAR better to source your omega 6 oils from ORGANIC, unprocessed oils. Ideally this would in the form of their original seed precursors, like sunflower, pumpkin, or sesame seeds.
If you want to increase your overall health and energy level, and prevent health conditions like heart disease, cancer, depression and Alzheimer's, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, ulcerative colitis, and a host of other diseases, one of the most important strategies at your disposal is to increase your intake of omega-3 fats and reduce your intake of processed omega-6 fats.
Yes that is the key term here: processed. Just as I have been saying for many years, the problem with saturated fats really wasn't the healthy saturated fats that were causing the problems, but the heating and processing that damaged the oils.
I still believe, as Brian does, that the lack of omega-3 is one of the most serious health issues plaguing contemporary society today, in addition to being seriously deficient in vitamin D. But on the flip side is the problem of simply consuming far too many processed and damaged omega-6 fats in the wrong balance with omega-3.
Over 2,000 scientific studies have demonstrated the wide range of problems associated with Omega-3 deficiencies. In addition to what I already mentioned, it's been linked to:
- Depression and violence
- Weight gain
- Allergies and eczema
- Memory problems
- Inflammatory diseses
And, it was less than six months ago that the journal Nature Neuroscience published a study showing that raised levels of omega 6 contribute to confused behavior and Alzheimer's, stating it appears to interfere with your brain's nerve cells, causing over-stimulation, and that lowering omega 6 levels can allow the cells to function normally.
Keep in mind, the standard American diet (SAD) is almost devoid of Omega 3's, except for certain types of fish - and fish can no longer be recommended as a safe source of omega-3s due to high levels of mercury and other toxic contaminations. It's no wonder omega-3 deficiency is rampant, which is why it's so shocking to see the American Heart Association recommendation to continue consuming omega-6 oils WITHOUT the warning they must be organic and unprocessed.
What to Avoid
The primary sources of omega-6 are:
- Corn oil
- Canola oil
- Soy oil
- Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats
Just look at the labels on the foods and condiments you buy and you'll see just how overabundant these oils are. It's very difficult to find any kind of processed or prepackaged food that does not contain one of these oils. I strongly recommend you avoid all of the above as they will only worsen your omega 6 to omega 3 ratio.
Acceptable Fats to Help Balance Your Omega 6:3 Ratio
Acceptable oils will be a high quality extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, and organic butter, or better yet grass-fed organic butter.
Another way to improve your omega 6:3 ratio is to change the type of meat you eat.
You could consume more game meat like venison, or other game animals that are raised exclusively on grass or free-range diets. However, these are a bit harder to find and generally more expensive than beef.
Keep in mind that because nearly all cattle are grain fed before slaughter, if you eat traditionally raised beef it will typically worsen your omega 6:omega 3 ratio.
Free-range and/or grass-fed beef, however, contain better ratios of these two fats, and are a far better option. The article "Better Beef," written by California rancher Dave Evans, gives a great in-depth view of the many benefits of grass-fed beef, from environmental sustainability to the sheer difference in taste and nutrient content of the beef.
Evans also offers this list of grass-fed beef ranchers in the United States, where you can find good-quality meats:
- Panorama Meats - Black Angus and Red Angus
- Country Natural Beef - Hereford and Angus
- Tallgrass Beef
- Niman Ranch - A network of more than 600 independent farmers and ranchers, and probably the easiest to find locally
- Pacific Village - Entirely grass-fed cattle since 2002
What's the Optimal Source of Omega 3?
Last but not least, you'll want to supplement your diet with a high quality animal-based omega 3. But what's your best option?
In my view, krill oil is clearly your best option when it comes to obtaining important high quality animal based omega-3 fats. It contains essential EPA and DHA in a double chain phospholipid structure that makes it far more absorbable than the omega-3s in fish oil.
Krill oil also contains vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin D and canthaxanthin, which is a potent anti-oxidant. Research has shown the anti-oxidant potency of krill oil is, in terms of ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorptance Capacity) values, 48 times more potent than fish oil.
And, if you've read reports about overharvesting, or that krill oil supplements are starving other species into extinction, don't buy into that misinformed hoopla either. I set the record straight about this just a couple of months ago.
While competing omega 3 products may try to scare you with stories like that, the fact is that krill -- properly harvested, and tested for contaminations -- remains the most incredible source of omega-3 series of oils on the planet.