In this lesson, we have learned that total fat balance plays an important role in your overall health. Today we will talk about how omega 3 and omega 6 fats play an equally important role.
Most forms of polyunsaturated fats come from the omega-6 fats, so it is very important for balance to include omega-3 rich foods and supplements. The main foods from which you can obtain omega-3 fat are fish oil, flax seeds and flax oil. Adding these foods daily will improve your omega-6 to omega-3 intake ratio, thus leading to better health and a healthier inflammation profile.
Dietary fats are important to us as an energy source – they are actually the most energy dense macronutrient. They play a role in the manufacture and balance of hormones, in the formation of our cell membranes and in the formation of our brains and nervous systems. The fats we get from our diet provide us with omega-3 and omega-6 which are essential fatty acids that the body cannot make itself.
Again, balance is the key! In excess and out of balance with a mixture of unsaturated fats, a diet that is high in saturated fat can lead to increased cholesterol levels. This leads to directly to cardiovascular disease.
Saturated fat, however, should not be completely thought of as terrible. Not all saturated fats are bad for you. Some forms may actually lower cholesterol levels. The issues associated with saturated fats usually only become problems with an already poor diet.
Americans unfortunately have an unbalanced proportion of fats – the typical ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats here in the United States is 16:1. Totally out of balance!
Eating a diet rich in healthy fats and one that is balanced appropriately can help you to maintain your healthy nutritional goals.
Check out my post Food for the Brain for some more information on omega fats.
Tomorrow we will discuss fish oils and their significance for our diet.