What is the difference between omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids? Knowing the answer to this question can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. It can also help you eliminate some of the potential health risks of having an imbalance of these essential acids.
Many of the most common cooking oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids, and diets high in these fats are inflammatory and can lead to increased risks of cancer and heart disease.
The Simple Answer
Omega 3 and omega 6 are both fats that we cannot produce on our own. Therefore, we must obtain them through food or supplements. Both of them have a different chemical structure, which causes them to have separate functions in the body. Omega 3’s are not as common in the diets of most Americans and Europeans. They come from sources such as:
- Black cod
Omega 6 is far more common in the Western diet. Watch out for processed meats that have been smoked, cured, or otherwise treated with chemicals. These meats are high in omega-6 fatty acids. Smoking meats creates nitrosamines, which have been linked to intestinal and breast cancer.
The following are examples of other foods that contain omega-6 fats:
- Processed cookies
- Processed crackers
- Fried fast food
- Processed Meats
Processed Meats, Snacks and Fast Food is a Source of Omega 6
Are You Telling Me To Stop Eating the Foods I Love?
Let’s get real here for a moment. I’m certainly not going to stop eating the occasional cookie and doughnut and you probably aren’t either. What i’m suggesting is to find a healthy balance in the foods you eat. Moderation is the key. It’s important that these essential fatty acids are balanced.
Many health professions and researchers are linking mental disorders and health ailments to an imbalance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Heart problems can arise due to the very different roles these acids play in the body. Omega-3 fats lessen internal inflammation, which is an immune response.
Omega-6 fats increase this function. When balanced they work well together, providing enough inflammation to ward off infection, while keeping this body function from causing cardiovascular problems like heart disease. In addition to this physical body function, an imbalance of these fatty acids has also been linked to impulsive and violent behavior.
In 2006 a British study found that violent outbursts in prison inmates were reduced by 37% when Omega-3 supplements were added to their diet plans. Research linking fatty acids and other mental health conditions like depression are still underway.
Teamwork in Nutrition
Add essential Omega-3 fish oil supplements to your diet. The best omega 3 fatty acids come from the fat of cold water fish. However, there’s no way that I am going to eat three servings of fish a week. That’s why I take a fish oil supplement with CoQ10. It helps to maintain a healthy balance in my body so I can live a positive and active life. I recommend it to all of my friends.
Keep Your Levels of Omega 3’s High
I have searched around for the best fish oil I could find and this one from New Zealand called Omega 3/QH Ultra exceeds the purity standards set by the industry. This powerful supplement contains three antioxidants, CoQ10, Lycopene and Astaxanthin. All three work together to provide the best all around supplement for your health available.
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