Omega 3 Vs Omega 6: The Essential Fatty Acids Your Body Needs

Omega 3 and omega 6 are essential fatty acids that are consumed and processed by the body. We need a balance of these fatty acids because each does different things and they are not always good for us in excess.

Omega 6 fatty acids, for example, are known to contain pro-inflammatories that can cause toxic inflammation if too many are consumed. You will mostly find omega 6 fatty acids in sunflower, peanut, soy and corn oils; in refined flour and sugar; and in the trans fats used in processed foods, particularly fast food and ready meals.

Omega 3 fatty acids are “good” fatty acids, polyunsaturates that can reduce inflammation and promote better health when part of a healthy, balanced diet. You’ll find omega 3 in fresh water oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, herring and anchovies; in walnuts; in virgin olive, hempseed and walnut oil; in eggs; and in dark green leafy vegetables, high antioxidant fruits and vegetables, and in onions and garlic.

A lot of research has gone into the effects of fatty acids, both good and bad, on the body. It is known that when we eat too much processed food, dairy and red meat that our bodies can struggle to break down certain proteins they contain. The food we cannot process properly is causing an allergic reaction in the gut and so it’s important to cut them out from our diet to improve health.

If you do suffer from inflammation in the gut, keep a food diary and take a note of your digestive reaction to the foodstuffs you think might be causing the problems and eliminate them one by one from your diet. Stick to organic produce, which won’t contain those pro-inflammatory omega 6s. Don’t eat fried, refined and processed products and make sure your diet is balanced appropriately between protein, carbohydrates and fat.

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