What is the importance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids?

What is the importance of taking the Omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) as the omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid (LA). Both are essential fatty acids and you need them.

What role does Omega 3 play?

Omega 3 fatty acids have a role in preventing cardiovascular disease, arthritis and depression, among other things. Omega 3 fatty acids also lower cholesterol levels and are important for eye and brain function.

What Role Does Omega 6 Play?

Omega-3 is also known as the anti-inflammatory and omega-6 as the pro-inflammatory. Omega 6 does help to keep your heart and vessels healthy and to lower your blood pressure and regulate the right amount of total cholesterol in your blood, but we get too much of it in the form of margarine, and sunflower oil which is widely used in cookies, chips, mayonnaise etc.  

Is your intake ratio between
Omega 3 and Omega 6 right?

We consume too little Omega 3 and too much Omega 6….

How about the ratio?

In order to avoid adverse effects, our tissues should be composed of 40 percent omega-6, versus 60 percent omega-3.  The question is are we getting enough of the right fatty acids? In the Netherlands we get enough of the omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid (LA), but not of the omega-3 fatty acid linoleic acid (ALA). Also the intake of omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is often low. This is because many people eat little or no fish.

In conclusion, we consume too much Omega 6 and too little Omega 3 fatty acids. In order to have a good balance of fatty acids, for instance it is important that we try to reduce our intake of Omega 6 and increase that of Omega 3 by eating more fatty fish but also walnuts, avocado, flaxseed (oil), chia seed and a good olive oil.

Should you not consume enough of these foods we recommend taking a good fish oil in the form of a supplement. if you are vegan or vegetarian you may take a vegan supplement such as Algae oil.

Source: Ortho Health Foundation, Jasper Alblas

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