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Balancing the Omegas – To Inflame or Not To Inflame? That is the Question.

In my earlier post “Fat Facts”, I briefly discussed the importance of healthy fats and some sources of the different Omega 3, 6, and 9 Fatty Acids.

But how much should we consume? Approximately 30% of our diets should come from healthy fats. But, we also need to balance the Omega 3 and 6 ratio. The Omega 6/Omega 3 ratio should be no greater than 5:1.

Fatty Acids contribute to Prostaglandin (PG) production, which is necessary for managing inflammation. And while inflammation is necessary in the beginning the healing process, anti-inflammation is required to complete the process. PG2s are responsible for inflammation. But, it takes both PG1s and PG3s to anti-inflame. PG1s and PG2s are derived from Omega 6, while PG3s come only from Omega 3. Americans get up to 25 times more the Omega 6s than 3s (25:1 ratio!). The lack of Omega 3s and PG3s in the typical American diet leads to epidemic numbers of inflammatory diseases. These include psoriasis, eczema, arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.

This epidemic is largely due to the rise of the vegetable oil industry. Cheaply made, genetically modified, rancid, carcinogenic corn, soybean, cottonseed, and canola oils line the grocery market aisles in clear plastic bottles. But these cheap vegetable oils are also in nearly every packaged product consumed. The meat industry is also feeding the livestock corn and soy. Do you think our ancestors ate rapeseed (canola oil) and cotton seeds while feeding their cows and chickens corn and soybeans?

So, even though we are getting alot of the pro-inflammatory PG2s from low quality Omega 6’s, we are lacking in the anti-inflammatory PG3s from Omega 3s.  Our population is burning up!  In order to put out the fire, we need to cut out the highly refined, package products and start eating real food. Great examples are wild caught fish, dark leafy greens, extra virgin olive oil, grass-fed livestock, Chia, Hemp Seeds, and Walnuts.

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