Balancing Your Omega-6 and Omega-3

Balancing Your Omega-6 and Omega-3

Most people are familiar with the “Food Pyramid” guide. It is this guide that recommends the amounts of fruits, vegetables, grains, fish, poultry and meat that the individual should try to eat on a daily basis. As an example, the guide recommendation is to consume 6-11 portions of grain per day. What it doesn’t take into consideration is the many people have allergies to these grains, which are high glutens, lectins and Omega-6 fatty acids, a linoleic acid. These grains also contain Omega-3 fatty acids, an alpha-linoleic acid, but in very tiny amounts. A great many of these people are not aware that they are allergic to grains and will have many unexplained symptoms that plague them. It is the ratio of the omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, which will give rise to these allergic reactions. These reactions will increase the inflammatory processes that cause our joint and muscle pains. Our bodies are programmed to keep the omega-6 fatty acid to the omega-3 fatty acid on a 1:1 ratio.

An accepted ratio would be 4:1. When the ratio rises above the 4:1 ratio the body will enter a pro-inflammatory phase. It is in this phase that symptoms will arise. These symptoms are chronic pain syndromes, inflammatory conditions of the blood vessels, heart disease, alzheimers, cancer and osteoporsis, to name a few. Most individuals whose diet consists of a large amount of grains, breads and cereals will have a ratio between 10: 1 to 30:1. This is much above the norm of 1:1 to 4:1. In these individuals whose ratio is so greatly increased, the body produces prostaglandin’s, the substance that will activate the pro-inflammatory conditions. Staying within accepted ratios is not as difficult as it sounds. It is just a matter of picking the right foods. This doesn’t mean that you should decrease your intake of grains, but it does mean that you should try to balance your diet with enough fruits and veggies. Read below in health hints, the fruits and vegetables that will help balance you omega-6 and omega-3 ratio, and place you in a healthful, non-inflammatory state. Health Hints*** First you need to assure that you are getting the proper vitamin and mineral supplementation. You need a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement that contains all the vitamins and minerals you can find. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive vitamin, however, find a multivitamin that contains all the anti-oxidants, A, C, E, beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, calcium, B9 (folate), B6, B12, and vitamin D. Be sure that it contains the minimum daily requirements for these vitamins. It is to be taken on a daily basis. Many one a day multivitamins contain most of these, but it may be necessary to take additional vitamins and minerals, such as C, E and calcium to increase the recommended daily allowance. Next you need to concentrate on picking the foods that will protect your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. These are the fruits, vegetables and fish that will form the mainstay of your diet and increase your omega-3 fatty acids. HOWEVER, as with all diets there are caveats.

Diabetics, asthmatics, people who are on blood thinners, or who have clotting disorders, should discuss this type of diet with their doctors before trying to increase their omega-3 intake. Although the food pyramid guide recommends 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables, The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has recommended that adults increase their daily intake of fruits and vegetables to 9 servings per day. This has also been the recommendation of the U.S. Department Of Agriculture’s Food Pyramid Guide. As a guide per serving, use the following:

  1. A half-cup of cooked vegetables.
  2. A cup of salad.
  3. A medium-sized piece of fruit.
  4. A quarter cup of dried fruit.
  5. Six ounces of 100-percent fruit or vegetable juice.
  6. A half-cup of cooked legumes.

Foods high in omega-6 fatty acids and should be avoided or kept to a minimum of one serving daily.

  1. White bread.
  2. Whole wheat bread.
  3. Oatmeal.
  4. Potato and corn chips.
  5. Most grain cereals.

Add these foods to your diet. They will provide an excellent ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Getting your ration of nine daily servings from the list below should be rather easy, and include a variety.

  1. Broccoli
  2. Kale
  3. Green leafy vegetables. The deeper the color, the better.
  4. Romaine lettuce and other lettuces.
  5. Fish, 2 to 3 times a week. The fish highest in omega-3 fatty acids is Alaskan Salmon. It should be baked, broiled or steamed.
  6. Other fish varieties, although not as high in omega-3 fatty acids, are excellent choices. It should not be deep-fired.
  7. Look for grass fed beef in your super market, or it can be found online.
  8. There are also eggs that are high in omega 3 fatty acids and can be found in some markets or Health Food Stores.
  9. All fruits, however, fruits that are deep in color are the best. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, bananas, and kiwi are great sources. Include all fruits in your diet.

By eating the nine recommended portions from this food guide, you will reap enormous benefits. These benefits are:

  1. Keeps your arteries elastic and open.
  2. Prevents heart disease.
  3. Prevents inflammatory conditions of the joints and muscles that are painful.
  4. A preventative against Alzheimer’s disease.
  5. Prevents osteoporosis and gives you strong bones and teeth.
  6. Prevents diabetes.
  7. Strengthens the immune system.
  8. Can help prevent eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
  9. Can help depressive states and mood swings.
  10. Can prevent other chronic diseases that seniors may be prone to.
  11. Helps keep your weight down without dieting.
  12. Will help promote longevity.

You can see the simplicity of this healthful regime, and how easy it is to meet your daily requirements of adding nine of the recommended portions from the food guide. It is recommended that you discuss this plan with your doctor before implementing it in the event there are special health circumstances.