Visit omega 3 and 6 are polyunsaturated fatty acids essential to our health. They are known as "good fats oressential fatty acidsbecause they cannot be manufactured by our bodies. L'diet is therefore the only way to provide it to satisfy our daily needs.
However, it's not enough to provide it in sufficient quantities: it's also important to maintain a certain level of energy. balance between omega-3 and omega-6.
Discover in this article the importance of maintaining a good omega-3/omega-6 ratio !
Omega 3 vs omega 6: What are they? What are they used for?
Before moving on, it's important to take a closer look at quick overview of our two essential nutrients :
Chemically, the omega-3 are fatty acids whose carbon chain (succession of carbon atoms) contains double bonds (unsaturation), the first of which is located at the 3th carbon atom - hence the number 3 in "omega-3".
Our body needs three main omega-3 fatty acids to function properly: thealpha-linolenic acid (ALA), l'cervonic acid or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) andtimnodonic acid or eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
Fatty acids omega-3 have many health benefits, including :
- Maintaining cardiovascular health
- Healthy brain function
- Protection against neurodegenerative diseases
- Reduces inflammatory phenomena
- Maintaining good vision
- Maintain healthy skin
For fill up on omega-3it is recommended to consume foods rich in them such as fish fatty fish (sardines, salmon, trout, mackerel, tuna...), the nutsnuts hazelnutshazelnuts seeds (chia, linseed...), and vegetable oils (rapeseed, linseed...), cod liver oilcod-liver egg yolk, l'avocado…
To learn more about omega-3s and their benefits, read the article "What are the health benefits of omega-3?" is available here..
Similarly, chemically omega-6 are fatty acids whose carbon chain has several unsaturationthe first of which is located on the 6th carbon atom.
There are 4 main types of omega-6 of interest to the human organism: omega-6 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids.linolenic acid (LA)arachidonic acid (ARA)gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) andconjugated linolenic acid (CLA).
The omega-6 are involved in :
- Fertility and reproduction
- Blood coagulation
- Immune defenses
- Prevention of cardiovascular disease in association with omega-3s
We can find fatty acids omega-6 in large quantities in many foodsincluding soyand corncorn nutsnuts seedsthe meatsand fishfish eggs, l'sunflower oil…
Omega-3/Omega-6: what is the ideal ratio?
According to research, you need to maintain a omega-3/omega-6 ratio between 1:1 and 1/4 à 1/5. In other words, for every 4 or 5 omega-6 molecules consumedwe need to provide 1 molecule of omega-3.
In the past, traditionally farmed animals ate grass naturally rich in omega-3s. The meat we consumed was therefore very rich in essential fatty acids.
Nowadays, with intensive livestock farming, animals are fed soy and corn who are rich in omega-6, low in omega-3. As a result, our current (modern Western) diet is highly unbalancedwith a ratio omega-3/omega-6 around 1/15 up to 1/30 !
To sum up, we consume 3 to 6 times less omega-3 than omega-6and this is not without consequence for our health!
What are the consequences of an imbalance in the omega-3/omega-6 ratio?
Research has confirmed that there is a close link between omega-3/6 imbalance imbalance and the onset of diseases such as :
- Inflammatory diseases
- High levels of bad cholesterol
- Type II diabetes
- Abdominal obesity or "metabolic syndrome
- Cardiovascular disease
- Mental disorders
- Impaired vision
To reduce the risk of all these diseases and others health problemsa few simple steps dietary adjustments to restore an ideal omega-3/omega-6 ratio.
How can we restore the right balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids?
Generally speaking, to get closer to the recommended omega-3/omega-6 ratio (around 1/4 to 1/5), we need to increase our intake ofomega-3-rich foods and reduce of omega-6-rich foods.
There are several strategies you can adopt on a daily basis. Here are just a few:
Multiply sources of omega-3
As mentioned above, we need three main omega-3 fatty acids for our health: ALA, DHA and EPA. Knowing thatALA is mainly ofplant originand DHA and EPA are ratheranimal originIt's easy to see why it's important to vary your omega-3 food sources (plant AND animal):
- Plant sources : nuts, seeds (pumpkin, hemp, chia, soy, flax), certain oils (rapeseed, flax, hemp, camelina), certain vegetables (cabbage, Swiss chard, pumpkin, purslane).
- Animal sources : mainly oily fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring and anchovies, but also eggs, seafood, milk and dairy products. As for meatsit is advisable to choose organically farmed which are much richer in omega-3.
Limit omega-6 sources
One of the first things to do to balance your intake of omega-3s and omega-6s is to replace sunflower oil with an oil richer in omega 3 and containing less omega-6, such as rapeseed oil.
Take 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil a day is enough to cover the recommended nutritional intake of ALA (alpha-linoleic acid). All that's left is to consume animal products from organic farms to fill up on DHA andEPA !
Supplement with rapeseed, flax or hempseed oil
It is sometimes difficult for some people to to change their eating habits to include more sources of omega-3. We then recommend that, while maintaining the same diet, they include one or two teaspoons a day of these oils, which provide particularly interesting quantities ofomega-3: rapeseed oil, camelina oil, hemp oil and linseed oil.
Thus, omega-6 intakes from the usual diet will be compensated and balanced by the intake of omega-3.
Take an omega-3 supplement to restore the balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
Since our diet is too rich in omega-6we need to use every method to increase our intake of omega-3.
To do this, in addition to improved dietwe can resort to a omega-3-based dietary supplement that will help effective and rapid correction from omega-3/omega-6 ratio.
The omega-3 and 6 fatty acids are essential good fats for our bodies. They must be provided daily via diet at sufficient quantity while respecting a certain balance.
For stay healthyit is recommended to provide your body with at least one omega-3 molecule for every 4 to 5 omega-6 molecules consumed.
Our current dietmodern and industrial, is too rich in omega-6! We therefore need to significantly increase our daily intake of omega-3in particular through adjustments dietary adjustments.
In order to rebalance more effectively the ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s, it may be advisable to use a dietary supplement rich in omega-3 as a first step, then gradually correct your diet by including more sources rich in this essential nutrient.