I’m sure you’ve heard about how bad inflammation is for your health. It’s linked to numerous illnesses, poor memory, decreased immune system, hair loss, pimples, wrinkles, and pain all over your body.
Today I wanted to answer a viewer’s question about Omega 6 fats:
Dr. Sam – I’m confused about something… Some experts say oils which are high in omega-6 fatty acids are bad because they can cause inflammation. But then, other experts say they are good and we need to have Omega 6 fats. So what’s the truth? Why can’t anybody agree on anything?
This is a great question because of the mass confusion and misinformation about this topic.
Additionally, because high consumption of omega 6 fats is also very toxic to your body – they cause inflammation, muscle loss, fat gain, hair loss, wrinkles, blood sugar problems, higher cholesterol, and on and on.
However, we DO need all the omega fats – 3, 6, 7, 9, and so forth. But, it’s all about the balance and ratios.
What Are Omega 6 Fats
First, let me give you a list of so-called “bad” fats that are high in omega 6’s, which are typically and incorrectly called, “healthy” vegetable or seed oils, such as:
The 3 worst being sunflower, corn, and soybean and these are found in most packaged foods.
Even if you go to Wholefoods, you’ll see these oils being used in the foods they prepare.
And for sure every time you go out and eat, the restaurants are using these cheap oils.
Even healthy “olive oil” is typically mixed in with these unhealthy fats to save money.
These are cheap oils that are bad for you because they cause massive inflammation by creating an imbalance in the omega fats – being much higher in 6 and almost devoid of omega 3.
For centuries, our diets consisted of about a 1:1 ratio or as high as a 3:1 ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fats. Which is fine.
But these days, it’s at least 20:1 ratio and as high as 100:1 ratio of omega 6 fats to omega 3’s.
Thus, a horrible imbalance and why there are so many health issues for your body and brain.
Animal Proteins Are A Problem Too
The other issue is that animal proteins we eat – chicken, eggs, pork and red meat, are also very high in omega 6 fats because of the horrible diets these animals are fed.
These animals are given soy and corn because it’s cheap food and they can fatten the animal quickly.
The animals are not free-range, pasture-raised. They’re not eating insects and grass, like nature had designed them to.
So, this causes an even higher imbalance in the omega 6 fats and thus, MORE inflammation and health problems.
As the saying goes, you are what you eat. But you’re also what the animal ate as well since that’s going in you too.
Eating More Omega 3’s Isn’t The Answer
So these days, we’re told to eat more omega 3 fats, to balance out the high omega 6’s. But, this isn’t necessarily a good idea either for a variety of reasons.
First, you have to consume a LOT of omega 3’s, to counterbalance the high omega 6’s.
Second, the best source of omega 3’s is from fish. But, there’s only so much fish you can eat, especially considering the heavy metals and toxins in our waters and so forth.
Third, consuming a ton of fish oils, such as pills or liquid, isn’t the answer either.
We are warm-blooded animals. Fish oils if for fish, COLD blooded animals.
Thus, fish oils oxidize quickly in our bodies. Not a good idea.
Maybe you can take between 3-6 grams daily and Krill oil might be better – but again, there’s a limit before there’s more harm than good, especially long-term for years and years.
Forth, you can take oils higher in omega 3 fats, such as flaxseed, which is good. But most flaxseed oils are already rancid. They need to be refrigerated at all times. Most products aren’t.
However, there’s another problem. In order for the Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in plant-based oils such as flaxseeds, to have the same positive effects attributed to omega-3s found in fish oils, it must be converted by a limited supply of enzymes into EPA and DHA.
As a result, only a small fraction of it has omega-3’s effects — 10%–15%, maybe less.
The remaining 85%–90% gets burned up as energy or metabolized in other ways. And the older we get, the worse the conversion gets.
So, you have to consume a few tablespoons of flaxseed oil daily, to get the same positive effects of maybe 2 teaspoons of fish oil.
That’s more oil, more calories, and more body fat.
The Best Solution
So, after all, is said and done, here’s what I suggest in order of importance
FIRST – you must eliminate or reduce these bad vegetable oils such as sunflower, corn, and soybean. Read the labels, they are found in most packaged foods.
SECOND – you must eat better animal protein. Wild-caught salmon is great. Make sure the chicken and eggs are pasture-raised and the red meat (cow, bison, etc.) is grass-fed. It costs more, but you need less protein and you’ll be far healthier.
It’s about quality, not quantity.
You can also take vegetable proteins such as Hemp, which has a little bit of omega 3’s as well.
THIRD – consume about 2-6 grams of fish oil daily. Wild-caught salmon is best. Or, you can take the pills if you don’t like fish. To save money I use raw fish oil, but you can do the caplets if you prefer. I take a total of 1 tablespoon daily.
FORTH – take supplements that decrease inflammation, since that’s really the whole point of improving your omega 3 to 6 ratios. You want to take herbal extracts such as curcumin, ginger, Boswellia, Green Tea, Pine Bark, Astragulas, Resveratrol, Quercetin, and a few others.
I take a natural veggie pill called Inflame & Pain Relief that contains all of these ingredients and a few more. This is especially important if you want to reduce joint pain and inflammation, improve memory and support a healthy immune system.
Most importantly, if you aren’t going to stick to a super strict diet, then for sure take Inflame & Pain Relief. It can dramatically undo a lot of the inflammatory damages caused by diet and stress.
Reduce inflammation to live a healthier, longer, happier, and less painful life.
- Avoid foods and oils high in omega 6 fats
- Add in more omega 3’s,
- Eat better sources of protein
- Take natural herbs that are scientifically proven to lower inflammation – This is especially important if you can’t follow a strict, anti-inflammatory diet.
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