Balance Omega-6 & Omega-3 Dietary Fats to Save Your Life
For 30 years or more, authorities have been telling us to lower our fats, and to eat more "heart healthy omega-6 vegetable oil."
However, recent research has shown that we've overdone it. We've been eating entirely too much omega-6.
Eating too much omega-6 helped the farmers and food manufacturers, but it is killing us.
Research now shows that about 3 out of 4 of us -- 73% -- are dying from inflammation related diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, strokes, hypertension, Alzheimer's, and so on. Over the last few years, researchers around the world have discovered that the leading culprit in this epidemic of inflammation is one simple thing... we eat too much vegetable oil. We flood our system with omega-6 fat.
Balancing the fats you eat -- both the types and the amounts -- will enable you to prevent most degenerative diseases, or to improve the status of diseases you may already suffer from. In fact, for most of us, balancing our dietary fats is the single most important thing we can do to improve and maintain our health.
D6D -- THE CENTER OF THE BALANCING ACTThe main player in controlling your fat balance is a digestive enzyme you probably have never heard about. It's called D6D or delta-6-desaturase. This little enzyme processes fats to help convert them into nutrients your body uses to manufacture hundreds of needed molecules. You only have so much of this D6D enzyme at any one time. So, the fats you eat "compete" with each other to use D6D. If you eat too much of any particular kind of fat then the enzyme simply isn't available for the other kinds of fats. This situation is called "competitive inhibition".
Your goal is to produce a balance of fats so that each kind of fat gets its proper share of utilization of your D6D. When the fats are balanced around D6D, then each gets to produce its so-called "downstream" products. These are the products that end up producing good or bad effects in your body according to their overall balance.
OMEGA-6 FATSOmega-6 fats are the oils we commonly eat that are made from most vegetables, seeds and nuts. They include soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil, peanut oil, and most other oils made from seeds or nuts that are often sold under the name "vegetable oil" in the supermarket. These oils may contain some omega-3 or other types of fats, but they are primarily omega-6 fats.
Omega-6 fat is a "polyunsaturated fat," which means that its molecule has a flexible, curved shape. It is called "unsaturated" because it is NOT saturated with hydrogen atoms around all the carbon atoms. It is called "poly" because it has more than one missing hydrogen atom. It is called "-6" due to the position of the of first double carbon bond, which is 6 atoms from the end of the fat molecule.
All polyunsaturated fats -- both omega-6 and 3 -- tend to lower insulin resistance. This means they help most metabolic diseases like diabetes, hypoglyceemia, hypertension or high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis or other heart diseases. They make cell membranes more permiable, which allows your cells throughout the body exchange fluids, fats, sugars and other nutrients better. This also tends to lower LDL "bad" cholesterol, while possibly raising the HDL "good" cholesterol (some research casts doubt on the latter effect).
Another name for omega-6 fats in plants is "linoleic acid". Note the difference between linoleic and linoleNic. The added "n" means omega-3, while no "n" means omega-6. These are the parent fats found in natural plant oils or fish oil. They are called "essential fatty acids", since the human body cannot make them itself. You must eat a balance of these fats to be healthy.
OMEGA-3 FATSThese fats come from animal or vegetable sources. Animal sources are the fatty kinds of fish, like mackerel, sardines, herring, cod, anchovies, tuna and so on. Plant sources include some (but not all) nuts like walnuts, avocados, flax seeds, perilla leaves or seeds, and so on.
The fish get their omega-3 from eating blue-green algae or other fish who have eaten the algae. This omega-3 does not have to be further processed inside our body by D6D. It already contains EPA and DHA, since the blue algae did the processing job, before the fish ate it. Many kinds of fish, the stinky oily kinds you may hate, contain very high levels of the powerful, vital oils you need to stay healthy. Eating fish oil will reduce your inflammation -- even if your D6D is not working well due to age, bad habits like smoking or alcohol drinking, high stress levels, high insulin levels and so on.
Plant omega-3 oils are called alpha-linolenic acids. These acids have to be processed by our body with the D6D in order to produce the desired EPA and DHA acids that balance our inflammation.
Where to Buy Super Concentrated, Long Chain Omega-3 Fish Oils
Fish oil contains EPA and DHA omega-3s that
reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure,
reduce insulin resistance & improve mental conditions.
Suggested Brands of Fish Oil to BuyYou should buy a "triple strength" fish oil that contains 900mg of the true long chain omega-3 fats -- the EPA plus the DHA -- in each capsule. Another good choice is a brand of fish oil that contains at least "double strength" fish oil, with some added synergist ingredients that help the fish oil work better. Several excellent quality brands are available.
1. Consider Natural Factors Ultra Rxomega-3 Factors EPA/DHA 900mg with Vitamin D3 Enteric Softgels, 150-Count, about $35.48 per bottle, 37 day's supply at 4 capsules/day. Monthly cost: $28.77 (includes 1,000 IU of Vitamin D3 in each capsule)
2. Another good choice is the Spring Valley - Fish Oil 1400 mg, Triple Strength, Enteric Coated, 60 Softgels, about $9.99 per bottle, about 15 day's supply at 4 capsules/day. Monthy cost: $19.95 (does NOT include Vitamin D3)
3. We suggest you consider Super Omega-3 Epa/Dha With Sesame Lignans & Olive Fruit Extract Enteric Coated, 120 Count Softgels, about $22.49. This 120 capsule-bottle is a 20-day supply for one adult taking 6 capsules per day. Six capsules of this formula will deliver 600mg total EPA+DHA in each capsule, plus the synergistic olive and sesamin extracts, totalling 3.6 grams of total long chain omega-3. The Olive Extract in these capsules contain powerful anti-oxidants from olives that have been shown to combat inflammation. They also contain sesamin -- a lignan fiber from sesame seeds that is similar to the lignan from flax seeds, but shown to be even more powerful in reducing inflammatory symptoms. While this fish oil brand only contains "double strength" EPA+DHA, the extra ingredients provide added support for your supplementation program. You would need to take 6 of these capsules per day to get the total 3.6 grams of long-chain omega-3 that the triple strength brands above provide in their 4 capsules per day.
THE MONOUNSATURATED OMEGA-9 FATS -- OLIVE OILIn addition to the omega-6 and omega-3 fats, there is one more that you need to know about: Omega-9 fats contained in some vegetables like olives or avocados. Small amounts of omega-9 are contained in some other plant foods, seeds and nuts, but nothing significant.
Like the omega-6 or 3 oils, oils containing omega-9 are also "unsaturated", meaning they are not stiff and inflexible. Instead they are slightly curved due to the presence of ONE single double bond -- located at the 9th position, 9 carbon atoms from the end of the fat molecule. This single double bond gives them the "mono" designation; hence the final descriptive term... "monounsaturated" omega-9 fatty acid.
Olive Oil "Omega-9" is Good For YouYou can eat lots and lots of it; about twice the total "legal" amount of fish oil plus omega-6 plus omega-3 in your diet. This means that extra virgin olive oil is the oil you should put in your salad dressings, your cooking sauces or saut�s, and drizzle over veggies or meat to add richness and flavor. Don't go crazy with it, but you can have about as much olive oil as you want.
It is more expensive -- about 2-1/2 times the cost -- compared to vegetable oils from corn, safflower, canola, soybeans, and so on. However, it is well worth the price. When you eat virgin olive oil, you get high levels of antioxidants that other vegetable oils don't contain. Virgin olive oil was cold pressed from fresh olives to obtain the oil. Other vegetable oils were heated to high temperatures during purification and extraction. This heating killed the antioxidants they may have contained.
Canola oil, made from rapeseed contains another omega-9 fat, called eurusic acid. This acid molecule is a bit longer than oleic acid found in olive oil -- by four atoms of carbon. The body handles this fat a bit differently, but in general you could substitute canola for olive oil without causing a fat imbalance. Canola does taste good to most people. Also canola oil does not have antioxidants like olive oil, since it has been heated and filtered to remove offensive odors and flavors during processing. Canola is simply not as healthy as olive oil. But, to save money on cooking oils, you may want to use it sometimes when money saving is important. Use extra virgin olive oil whenever possible.
Extra Virgin Olive oil is healthy. Replace your vegetable oil with it and you'll enjoy the result!
THE OMEGA-6 / OMEGA-3 ESSENTIAL FAT BALANCEOmega-6 is called an "essential fatty acid", since the body cannot make this fat by itself. The other essential fat is called Omega-3. These two fats compete for utilization of the D6D enzyme. If you have too much of one and too little of the other, then you end up getting too much of their respective downstream products. Which may mean too much inflammation, or too little.
Omega-3 fats are processed by D6D when the D6D is available and working, into anti-inflammatory cytokines. These include the PGE-3 prostaglandin series 3 anti-inflammation fats, and others. The two main anti-inflammation products in the omega-3 family are called EPA (EicosaPentaenoic Acid) and DHA (DocosaHexaenoic Acid). These vital fatty acids help you reduce inflammation and improve most diseases of aging that we all suffer from, like heart diseases, cancer and diabetes and many more.
Omega-6 fats are processed by D6D through the "arachidonic acid inflammatory cascade" into the pro-inflammatory cytokines, which include the series 2 prostaglandins, COX-2, the leukotrienes, and the thromboxanes.
While you DO NEED some of the pro-inflammatory molecules that omega-6 produces, you don't need them to overpower your system, keeping you in a state of persistent or chronic inflammation.
Inflammation is your body's response to infection, foreign bodies like bacteria or viruses, cuts or other injuries. You need inflammation to help fight these problems. But, you don't need it running rampant all over your body all the time.
That constant state of "low-level inflammation" is precisely our problem in contemporary America. The American diet simply contains too much omega-6 and too much animal saturated fat. It also contains far too little omega-3.
WHICH OMEGA-3 FAT IS BEST, FLAX OR FISH?In brief, it's fish oil. The fish eat algae. This algae contains the vital EPA and DHA products that D6D would produce for us, if it were working properly. So, fish are a great source of omega-3 that doesn't have to be processed by our own Delta-six-Desaturase.
By contrast, when we eat flaxseed oil in an attempt to get omega-3 products like EPA and DHA, unfortunately the flax oil still needs to be processed by D6D to produce the needed EPA or DHA. If we smoke tobacco, drink alcohol, suffer from stress, eat too much vegetable oil or animal fat, then we never get any benefit from the flax oil... it simply becomes added calorie intake and adds to our body-fat. Whew! That is not what we wanted, right? The same is true for walnuts and other vegetable sources of omega-3. They all require us to be able to use our own D6D.
So, we have to eat more fish. Or eat more blue algae... pond scum, anyone?
Just eat more fish, let them eat the pond-scum. And take several grams of concentrated, purified fish oil supplements per day.
HOW MUCH IS THE CORRECT AMOUNT?Research shows that Americans eat anywhere from 10 to 50 times too much Omega-6 vegetable oil. This depends on the amount of products like salad oils, mayonnaise, processed bakery foods and manufactured foods, fried foods that they eat... compared to foods containing Omega-3 oils, like fish, flax, walnuts, and supplements with omega-3 fats.
The total omega-6 to omega-3 fat ratio needs to be about 1-to-1, or about 2 to 3 tablespoons of each per day.
Instead, we Americans eat almost NO OMEGA-3 and 10, 15, 20 tablespoons or even more of OMEGA-6 vegetable oil per day. Plus, we eat enormous amounts of saturated fats from fatty steaks, pork, chicken skins, and other animal fatty foods. Over-eating coconut or palm oils can also add to the saturated total.
So, we need to cut way down on the total amount of animal fat, vegetable oils and processed foods we eat that contain them. We need to avoid any fried foods. Avoiding animal fats is also important.
And, we need to increase the total omega-3 fats we get each day. We can eat more fish, or eat lots of flaxseed oil and walnuts. But there is a limit to how much fish and flax we can eat -- we would need up to 20 pounds of tuna or more per day to get enough to balance the average consumption of total animal fat plus vegetable oil.
THE FISH OIL "PRESCRIPTION"The solution for most of us is simply to take FISH OIL SUPPLEMENTS or capsules -- about 10-12 1-gram capsules per day contain about 2-1/2 grams of the needed EPA and DHA omega-3 fats. This ensures that we will get the amount of these nutrients that most of us need to fight inflammation, reduce insulin resistant symptoms, and improve our health.
Of course, this won't work if we think we can now eat all the fried foods or juicy (fatty) steaks we want.
We have to do both at once:
1) reduce the vegetable oils and animal fats to about 2 or 3 tablespoons per day -- avoiding fried or processed foods
2) increase the omega-3 fats by taking fish oil supplements (10-12 grams per day) and eating more fish (at least 3 times per week)
By balancing our omega-6 and saturated fats with our omega-3 fats, we can reduce levels of inflammation. And, reducing inflammation will improve our blood sugar levels, insulin levels and insulin resistance over time.
Reducing inflammation will improve or prevent many if not most major diseases, including heart disease, cancer, type-2 diabetes, strokes, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, neuropathy, high blood pressure hypertension, hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis, and many more.
Balance your fats. It's easy to do, and it may save your life!
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We first published this report on Qassia.com. * All information on Level1Diet.com is for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Before changing your diet, or adding supplements to your diet, or beginning an exercise program, everyone should consult a qualified and licensed health practitioner; a physician, dietician or similar professional.