There is so much confusion about the ‘omegas’ – so I’m hoping this short post will put it together for you in a nutshell. The only one you need to worry about essentially, is omega 3 and it needs to be from fish oil NOT flaxseed oil. Secondly, you get too much (more than likely) omega 6 in your diet, even though omegas 3 & 6 are both “essential fatty acids” – so don’t worry about omega 6 – you probably get way more than enough if you are a human being…. Omega 9 is the kind you find in avos and olive oil, and while it is not classed as an “essential” fatty acid, it’s a good one. The body makes omega-9 on demand, so there is absolutely no need to “supplement” it in a tablet. I get so irritated with these “Omega 3, 6 & 9” supplements. Really! Just use olive oil if you want omega 9 or let your body make its own!
Diving a little deeper, most of your food is rich in omega 6 – nuts and seeds, the plants you eat and animal protein. Therefore ‘supplementing’ with omega 6 makes no sense either. In the food industry, virtually 100% of all the oils used are seed oils – damaged, inflammatory and full of unstable omega 6. The reason you want to avoid too much omega 6 oil is that it will throw your ratio of 3 to 6 out, resulting in inflammation in the body. The ratio should be 2:1 or 1:1 omega 6 to omega 3, but modern man has it anywhere from 20:1 to 50:1! Very scary, and no wonder there are so many diseases around today! This sets up wild inflammation all over the body, leading to disease.
So what should you do? Have olive oil for omega 9 if you like it – it has loads of other health benefits and it’s worth taking in or on food daily. However, don’t take it because you think your body can’t make it – it can – but olive oil should be taken for all the other benefits it offers. Don’t take omega 6 supplements or anything with omega 6 in it (seed oils, vegetable oils, margarine, processed foods, supplements etc), because remember you get more than enough in your food. You can take a fish oil supplement or else eat oily fish (wild caught) 3 times a week at least, which will give you a fair amount of omega 3 fatty acids. Generally even this will not offset the balance in the modern diet sadly, so I always recommend a good fish oil supplement.
Remember flaxseed oil is from plants – it is a ‘seed oil’ and does not have the beneficial DHA and EPA you find in fish, nor can the body convert the ALA present in flaxseed oil into these compounds, don’t be fooled by clever marketing! It’s a high omega-6 oil, even though it has the plant-based ALA present – this is NOT the same as eating fish or taking fish oil – your body wants DHA and EPA found only in fish. Seed oils are to be avoided at all costs. These are the very fats which contribute to arterial disease, heart disease and inflammatory disorders throughout the body. Forget the canola, flaxseed, hempseed, sunflower, safflower and soy oils – they will make you sick. There are so many delicious fats and oils which are safe and healthy – all animal fat, plus olive oil, macadamia oil, avo oil, coconut oil and real butter – why pollute your body with the heavily processed toxic seed oils? It’s a no brainer.
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