Our ancestors’ diets contained equal amounts of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids. They naturally consumed higher levels of Omega-3’s in leafy green vegetables and seafood.
But over time, the Omega-6 in their diets increased, causing the balance between Omega-3 and Omega-6 to shift drastically towards an Omega-6 dominance.
Today we regularly use cooking oils high in Omega-6, eat breads and cereals high in Omega-6, and raise our livestock and poultry on feed high in Omega-6, is it any wonder we are no longer balanced? In fact, today Omega-6 fats constitute about 9% of all the calories consumed in the U.S. whereas our ancestors consumed only about 1% of all the calories as Omega-6. In particular, soybean oil has had a 1,000% increase in the typical American diet during the last century, leading some medical experts to suggest we should “nix the 6 and eat more 3.”
Why is an imbalance so bad?
Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids work differently in the body. When we consume excessive amounts of Omega-6 fats, they actually6 stop our body from being able to metabolize and utilize Omega-3’s and their vital and essential effects. If we get our Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio right, research shows we can reduce inflammation, which may be the ultimate cause of most illness and disease in the human body. The good news is that, because the amount of Omega-6’s and Omega-3’s in our bodies is completely dependent on our diet, we can make great health strides by ensuring we choose the fats we eat more wisely.