The medical case is clear that omega 6 is too abundant in our typical western food. The omega 6 to omega 3 ratio in food used to be 1:1, and has in the past 40 years worsened to an omega 6 to 3 ratio of 35:1. This very imbalance in our western food diet needs to be corrected, if we want to stay free from inflammation diseases like heart disease, arthritis, obesity, diabetes and many brain disorders.
Fortunately, the changes are relatively easy to make if you are informed about which foods contain omega 6. Unfortunately that’s not that easy to find out. The most commonly used omega 6 oils are soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, and sunflower oil. Avoid these oils whenever possible. Reading the labels of processed foods, and identifying these bad oils in the ingredient list is a very good first step. Remember, that ingredients on food labels are listed in the quantity they are used. The first listed ingredient is the highest in quantity; the second is used less, and so on.
Ten additional action items to easily reduce omega 6 foods are:
Omega 6 food tip: Cook fresh foods at home. It’s easier to know which oils are used. Switch to olive oil for all lite baking and frying.
Omega 6 food tip: Sprinkle flax seeds or chia seeds on your cereal breakfast. Both are high in omega 3 ALA and are not GMO.
Omega 6 food tip: At home: switch to canola oil for frying. Canola oil is outside North-America known as rape seed oil. Note that canola oil is by definition GMO. Read more about the negatives of canola oil.
Omega 6 food tip: Buy organic. It’s more expensive, but you will save money on anti-inflammation pain killers.
Omega 6 food tip: Ask the waiter if the restaurant food is made with canola oil or olive oil.
Omega 6 food tip: Ask the butcher if beef and chicken are grass fed. Grass fed animals are high in omega 3. Corn fed animals are high in omega 6.
Omega 6 food tip: If it is within your budget, eat wild meat or meat from animals that stood in the meadow, rather than on a feeding lot.
Omega 6 food tip: Farm raised salmon which is fed corn oil is not the same as wild salmon. The fish cannot magically turn the omega 6 from corn into healthy omega 3. High quality farm raised salmon is “finished” for at least six weeks on krill meal. This krill meal is high in the omega 3s EPA and DHA and contains the super antioxidant astaxanthin, which makes the salmon pink or red.
Omega 6 food tip: Eat at least twice a week fish. Make sure it’s cold water fish and preferably not farm raised. Choose fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, or sardines) if you can handle the strong taste. Don’t overcook, because the healthy omega 3s are sensitive to heat. Stay away from tropical warm water fish such as farm raised tilapia. The farm raised tilapia has an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of 11:1 and is worse than a hamburger1. The researchers called the recommendation by doctors to patients to eat more fish, and then have them consume cheap tilapia “dangerous”. The same can be said about farm raised cat fish. The omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of wild salmon and trout is 1:1.
Omega 6 food tip: Start taking omega 3 supplements. Even with regular consumption of wild salmon and trout you will not swing the typical omega 6 to omega 3 ratio from 35:1 back to 5:1.
The science is overwhelmingly clear that omega 3 deficiency (because of the unbalanced omega 6 consumption) is the cause of many diseases, like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, and many brain disorders. High concentrate fish oil supplements and krill oil are recommended. Krill oil has omega 3 in the high absorption phospholipid form and contains high astaxanthin levels.