Originally published February 8 2010
Balance Essential Fatty Acids Omega 6 and 3 for Optimum Health
by Paul Fassa
(NaturalNews) There are many categories of fats, and the whole issue can be quite confusing. It`s important to isolate the good, the bad, and the ugly. An important factor is the correct ratio of the main essential fatty acids. They are called essential because they are needed for cellular metabolic function and structure, but the body doesn`t manufacture them. The two main categories of essential fatty acids are omega 6 and omega 3.
Oils to Avoid Completely
Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils are used for cooking because they are processed to ensure a longer shelf life and to withstand higher temperatures with high smoke temperatures. These oils also appear in virtually all processed packaged foods, even if labeled organic, because they`re inexpensive and won`t spoil on the shelf.
But the process of hydrogenating spoils them for human consumption. The trans fatty acids from even partially hydrogenated oils inhibit your cells' nutrient absorption while allowing toxins and pathogens to enter.
Margarine and vegetable shortening were the early hydrogenated oils. Now many vegetable oils are hydrogenated, at least partially. Even if not hydrogenated, corn oil, cotton seed oil, and soy oils should be avoided since virtually all of them are from GMO sources. Canola oil is controversial. Natural News article http://www.naturalnews.com/026630_canola_oil...
Omega 6 and 3 Ratios
The consensual ideal ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 is 2:1. Anything close to that is a wonder, since most consumers of the SAD diet (Standard American Diet) is anywhere from 10:1 or 20:1. This is largely due to all the high omega 6 oils without omega 3 used in cooking and processed foods. Another factor is the diminished omega 3 of beef now that most cattle no longer graze.
Meanwhile seeds, nuts, beans, whole grains, and dark green leafy vegetables that are high in omega 3 have been shunned by SAD consumers who are addicted to trans fat processed and fast food diets. Whole food sources are considered better than supplements for omega 3. Fish and fish oils are high in omega 3, but then there is this mercury thing. So it`s safer to go with plant sources for both omegas 6 and 3.
One of the highest omega 3 sources is flax. Grind fresh organic flax seeds in a coffee grinder, enough for just a few days at two heaping tablespoons per day for an inexpensive omega 3 boost. Sprinkle on food or gulp it down. Refrigerate to avoid spoilage.
Hemp oil or seeds themselves approximate the ideal ratio, coming in at 3:1. Increasing your omega 3 intake and decreasing your omega 6, unless already low, is the way to obtain balance. Remember, cold pressed vegetable oils haven`t been processed for long shelf lives. They need to be out of the sunlight and even refrigerated so they won`t go rancid.
Extra virgin olive oil, with its medium level of omega 6 and some omega 3, can be kept at room temperature while avoiding sunlight. Keep in mind that using even good oils for cooking creates toxins from the high heat acting on the fatty acids. Use coconut oil or ghee for cooking, as they have a much higher smoke temperature. More about ghee in Natural News at http://www.naturalnews.com/027268_ghee_butte...
As you approach the ideal 2:1 omega 6 to 3 ratio, your cardiovascular health is greatly enhanced. If you can`t get close to this ratio, there can be some serious health problems eventually. And consuming lots of hydrogenated oils is like begging for a heart attack!
Sources for more information:
Trans Fats Overview, American Heart Association
(Excellent resource) Whole Foods - The World`s Healthiest Foods http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nut...
Whole Foods - more details
About the authorPaul Fassa is dedicated to warning others about the current corruption of food and medicine and guiding others toward a direction for better health with no restrictions on health freedom. You can visit his blog at http://healthmaven.blogspot.com
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