How often do you have fish for one of your meals each week?
If you are anything like me living in Wisconsin you probably have salmon every once in a while. One issue that can come up with this lack of fatty fish in our diets is lower levels for omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids do a lot of really amazing things for our bodies. Especially if you are eating more processed/ packaged foods than minimally processed whole foods.
Omega-6 fatty acids are considered pro-inflammatory but they still have an important role in our body constricting blood vessels, blood clotting and for inflammation.
Inflammation is part of the rebuilding process our body needs to go through to build muscle and repair tissues. Omega-6’s are absolutely essential in our diets so instead of reducing the amount of these fatty acids in our diets what we can do is add in more Omega-3’s.
The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 that is ideal for us is around 8:1 in favor of omega-6, but for most modern day diets the ratio is around 20:1! In order to get that ratio back to a more favorable balance, supplementing omega-3’s into your diet might be something to consider.
Now that we know omega-6’s are not inherently bad for us we can go back to focusing on Omega-3 fatty acids.
Our body's cell membranes are fat based and omega-3’s contribute to the fluidity of our cells membranes which is needed to make nutrient transport easier between cells and getting the oxygen that is needed for the cells to function.
Omega-3’s also improve blood circulation, lower your triglycerides and blood pressure.
Omega-3 fatty acids have some incredible benefits that have been clinically researched but that doesn’t mean that you should only eat foods that contain only omega-3's, our bodies function best on balanced diets not overdoing it on any one food or vitamin/mineral.
So, instead of cutting out any foods or oils that contain omega-6 fatty acids look to add in either more fatty fish like salmon, herring, or tuna or go with an omega-3 supplement that has high amounts of EPA and DHA. EPA/ DHA are the two types of omega-3’s that we do not typically get from any other food than fatty fish which is why when you are looking for an omega-3 supplement you would want a higher amount of those two types.