Food With Omega 3 And 6

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Our Food With Omega 3 And 6is designed with your health in mind. Start adding more Omega 3 and 6 to your diet and experience the benefits of healthy eating. Learn how you can improve your overall health through eating omega-rich foods.

Food With Omega 3 And 6

Many foods have omega-6 fatty acids, including most processed foods made with vegetable oils, like packaged snacks, frozen pizza, and fast food. These foods’ abundance in the average diet contributes to omega-6 and omega-3 imbalances for many of us.

Processed foods generally have high levels of saturated and trans fats. So while omega-6s are essential to good health, the source matters. Limit your intake of processed foods and try these more nutritious omega-6-rich alternatives: 

1. Safflower Oil

Safflower oil is a common cooking oil with 12.7 grams of omega-6s per tablespoon. It also contains omega-9s like oleic acid, which can help maintain good blood sugar levels and has anti-inflammatory properties. 

2. Walnuts

At 10.8 grams per ounce — about 14 halves — walnuts are an excellent source of omega-6s. They also contain omega-3s, helping you maintain a balance of fatty acids in your diet.

3. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are a rich source of many nutrients, like vitamin E and magnesium, and of protein. They also have 9.3 grams of omega-6s per ounce. If you sprinkle some on cereal, a salad, or pasta, mix in some flaxseeds or chia seeds to add omega-3s to your meal. 

4. Canola Oil

While other vegetable oils like grapeseed, sunflower, and soybean contain more omega-6, canola oil is a more complete source of essential fatty acids. In addition to its 2.66 grams of omega-6 per tablespoon, you get 0.13 grams of omega-3s. You can use canola oil in place of most other cooking oils. 

5. Tofu

Tofu has 3 grams of omega-6s in each half-cup portion. Since it’s also high in protein, tofu is a great meat alternative for people on a plant-based diet. However, since fish is the best source of certain essential omega-3s, vegetarians should ensure they’re getting enough to maintain a good fatty acid balance. 

6. Eggs

One large egg has about 1.8 grams of omega-6s — but this content is concentrated in its yolk, not the whites. While the yolk is high in cholesterol, research shows it has little effect on your blood cholesterol levels. Unless advised otherwise by your doctor, an egg a day can be a great source of protein and important nutrients like fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. 

7. Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise is high in saturated fat, so do moderate your portions. But just a tablespoon offers 5.4 grams of omega-6, and it has some omega-3 content as well. Mix it with some canned tuna — an excellent source of omega-3s — to help meet your  day’s fatty acid requirements. 

8. Almonds

Nuts like almonds are heart-healthy, in part thanks to their fatty acid content. They have 3.7 grams of omega-6s per ounce, about 24 almonds. But nuts have many calories per serving, so moderate your portions to avoid unwanted weight gain. 

Why You Need Omega-6s

Omega-6 fatty acids support proper cell function throughout the body. While they’re available in supplement form, most of us get more than enough from our diets. Experts advise you obtain 5-10% of your daily calories from omega-6 fats, or between 11 and 22 grams on average.

Omega-6 fatty acids contribute to health benefits like:

Heart Support

Studies show a link between higher linoleic acid intake — the most common omega-6 — and reduced rates of heart attacks and other heart diseases. Some research shows omega-6s may lower cholesterol, keeping your blood vessels clear from build-up that can cause clots and heart problems. 

Healthy Cells

Omega-6s are essential for maintaining healthy cell structures and processes. Together with omega-3s, they keep cells functioning correctly, limiting cell damage that can lead to health problems or chronic disease.

Potential Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Research shows that our bodies convert linoleic acid into gamma-linoleic acid (GLA,) a compound that may fight inflammation. While inflammation is a healthy bodily response, it can contribute to chronic inflammatory diseases like arthritis over time. 

Scientists continue to study this effect and its potential to treat inflammation. But any link relies on a well-balanced diet. To convert omega-6s into their anti-inflammatory forms, our bodies need enough nutrients like magnesium and zinc, and vitamins C, B3, and B6.  

Omega-3 vs Omega-6 Fatty Acids: Why Essential Fatty Acids Matter

Helaine Schonfeld, MSc.

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are just two of the essential nutrients our bodies need to function. Essential means our bodies can’t make them, so we have to get them from other sources, either through food or supplementation.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been researched for their cardiovascular and neurological benefits while omega-6 fatty acids have been linked to a number of diseases, such as cardiovascular , autoimmune , and irritable bowel disease (IBD.) But, why then if omega-6 fatty acids are essential, can they be so detrimental to our health? Well, as with many things in life, too much of anything is never good and this is especially true when it comes to omega-6 fatty acids. It’s all about balance.

By simply being aware of what foods in your diet contain omega-3s vs omega-6s, you can maintain a healthy balance of the two, allowing you to benefit from what each has to offer.

What are omega-3 fatty acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids consist of a long chain of fatty acids characterized by where the first double bond takes place, just three in from the left. These fatty acids go onto produce substances from the eicosanoid family that have a very healthy effect on our blood vessels. They not only dilate the blood vessels to allow for blood to flow through the body with ease but also act as an anti-inflammatory. It’s omega-3 fatty acid’s anti-inflammatory properties that make it extremely beneficial in optimizing health. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids has been associated with low incidences of diseases, such as atherosclerosis , obesity , and diabetes . These powerful effects of omega-3 fatty acids were first seen in the Inuit population, whose diet consisted largely of cold-water fatty fish, known for being high in omega-3.

Sources of omega-3 fatty acids

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Herring
  • Trout
  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseed
  • Chia seeds

What are omega-6 fatty acids?

Another long chain of fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids are also essential, but rather than dilate blood vessels as omega-3 fatty acids do, they cause them to contract, restricting the amount of space your blood has to flow through the body. Less space for blood volume not only reduces blood flow but also creates pressure within the blood vessels, increasing your blood pressure. As with other essential vitamins, such as iron, vitamin-D, and calcium, our body needs them to function, but only to a certain extent. When consumed in excess, omega-6 fatty acids can advance the progression of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), especially when they aren’t balanced out by their counterpart, omega-3. But when we consume omega-3 fatty acids, our body partially replaces the omega-6 fatty acids in our cells with the newly ingested omega-3.

Sources of omega-6 fatty acids

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Pine nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts
  • Eggs
  • Pastured meats

Why your ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids matters

The diets of our ancestors were not only less dense in calories and higher in fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, lean meat, and fish, but they also had an equal balance of omega- 6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids. Today we’re eating closer to a 15:1 ratio. Why? It can mostly be traced back to the evolution of modern agriculture, factory farming, and the food industry as a whole. Foods that would otherwise have a natural balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids have been tampered with by farmers to increase food production by adjusting the animal feed used for chicken, egg, and fish production. The consumer packaged goods industry’s emphasis on processed, grab n go snacks has also contributed to our disrupted ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. These snacks are packed with omega-6 fatty acids, filling our diets with more than we need to function. Given the changes in our diet, the way we shop, and food production, the 1:1 ratio of our ancestors or even the optimal range of 1:1: to 1:4 seems further and further away.

One study of fatty acids in the diet showed a strong correlation between a ratio closer to that of our ancestors and disease resistance. A ratio ranging from 3-4:1 showed a reduction in rectal cell proliferation in patients with colorectal cancer, lowered inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and was linked to a 70 percent decrease in total mortality in those with cardiovascular disease. In asthma patients, a difference of just 5 degrees in favor of omega-6 fatty acids showed adverse effects. While scientists are still studying the exact ratio to optimize overall health, Parsley Health doctors and health coaches typically recommend a 1-3:1 ratio and help members figure out how exactly to do this in their diets.

Tips for adding foods high in omega-3 fatty acids to your diet

Buy organic free-range eggs, milk, and meat.

Organic, free-range animal products contain higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than conventional because of the feed they grow up on. A typical feed in conventional farming consists of cereal, soy, corn, and palm kernel cake, all of which contain below 10 percent omega-3 fatty acids, whereas those that are left to graze feed on plants, such as grass, red clover, and roughage, which contain 30 to 50 percent omega-3 fatty acids. A meta-analysis looking at fatty acids in organic versus conventional milk found a 58 percent higher concentration of omega-3 fatty acids in organic.

Pay attention to the source of your fish.

Aim for fresh, wild-caught fish as farmed fish contain less omega-3 fatty acids than those that have naturally grown in the ocean, rivers, and lakes. For options, try Sea to Table .

Swap your cooking oils.

Swapping the vegetable oils in your kitchen from those high in omega-6 (corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean, cottonseed) to oils high in omega-3 (flax, perilla, chia, rapeseed) and monounsaturated oils (olive, macadamia nut, hazelnut) is an easy way to start balancing your consumption. Also, keep an eye out for oils on the ingredients list of packaged foods and avoid ones that are high in omega-6s.

5 Best Omega 3 Supplements for Eye Health

Fish oil is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and you can ensure that your diet is full of omega-3s by both eating wild caught, fatty fish and by taking fish oil supplements. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is an omega-3 fatty acid known to be a structural component of the human brain, retina, and skin. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) is known to support the body’s normal ability tofight inflammation, and it is also incredibly important for eye health and comfort. These fatty acids have numerous health-promoting effects including supporting the normal function ofblood vessels including the formation of clots, helping to sustain normaltriglyceride levels and systemic inflammation, and even helping to support mental wellbeing. Despite studies that have indicated otherwise, overwhelming research has also shown many eye health benefits to consuming omega-3 fatty acids.

Capturing the health benefits of fish oil, however, isn’t quite as simple as just popping a couple pills from your local grocery store. Fish oil types can vary substantially in their quality and in their beneficial health effects. When deciding which oil to purchase, you should consider quality, purity, bioavailability, and cost.

3 Types of Fish Oil

Currently there are three different types of fish oil available for purchase: Natural triglyceride oil, ethyl ester oil, and re-esterified triglyceride oil.

Natural Triglyceride Oil

This form of fish oil is the closest of the three to eating real fish and is formed by extracting the natural oils from fatty fish. The greatest benefit of this form is its bioavailability. Even though it contains lower overall levels of fatty acids DHA and EPA when compared to other oils, these critical fatty acids are more easily absorbed by the body when compared to the ethyl ester form. One particular concern with the natural form is the risk that it may contain impurities and contaminants such as heavy metals. These contaminants may contribute to digestive upset and, if consumed in excess, may even have a toxic effect on the body. Usually though, if you stick to a pharmaceutical grade fish oil, you won’t have this issue.

Ethyl Ester Oil

This form of fish oil is created by concentrating and then removing impurities from natural oils through a process that changes the molecular structure of the substance. While the ethyl ester form contains fewer contaminants and has higher levels of DHA and EPA when compared to the natural form, it is not as easily absorbed by the body. This reduced rate of absorption is most likely due to the fact that bile salts and pancreatic enzymes must first break down the structure of the substance before it can be absorbed. This means you may have to take even more to notice the effects, or you may not notice any changes. The majority of fish oil supplements you’ll find on supermarket shelves are going to be ethyl ester based.

Re-Esterified Triglyceride Oil

This form of fish oil is created by taking the process to create ethyl ester oil just a step further. After concentrating and distilling natural fish oil, the ethyl ester form is then converted back into a triglyceride form. This process allows the oil to hold a form that is more easily absorbed and further concentrates the amount of EPA and DHA when compared to the natural triglyceride form. This results in a bioavailable product free from contaminants. Most fish oils on the market are not offered in this form since the additional processing adds greatly to its cost of production. However, there are quite a few great choices available that we’ll discuss in this article.

5 Omega 3 Supplements to Try

1. Heyedrate Omega 3

The Heyedrate Omega-3 for Eye Health was designed specifically with your eyes in mind. Formulated with 515 mg EPA and 415 mg DHA of re-esterified triglyceride (rTg) fish oil, this supplement is sure to get you on your way to healthy, comfortable eyes when combined with a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This formula also contains 40 mg omega-7, antioxidant vitamins E and C, B6, magnesium, and lactoferrin for a well-rounded addition to your supplement routine. Simply take 3 softgels per day, all together or separately.

Omega 3

2. PRN DE3

PRN’s DE3 Omega Benefits is a superior omega-3 product which is specifically formulated for patients with occasional eye dryness. Recommended by eye doctors across the country, this option is made from the re-esterified triglyceride form of fish oil and may help to maintain a healthy tear film and assist in overall eye comfort. It contains 1680 mg EPA and 560 mg DHA, which has been shown in multiple studies to be beneficial for eye health. Simply take 3 softgels per day, all together or separately. This choice is also available in a liquid form.

PRN De3

3. Doctor’s Advantage

This eye relief supplement contains an advanced and unique formula of powerful antioxidants to help your body’s natural defenses fightoccasional eye dryness,help strengthen tear ducts, and support good overall eye health. This unique proprietary blend of omegas 3, 6, and 9 includes natural triglyceride- based omega-3 fish oil, flaxseed oil, turmeric root, and borage oil. Take 3 softgels per day for optimal benefits.

Doctor's Choice

4. Lipotriad

The Lipotriad omega supplement is formulated to create, improve, and maintain the quality of your tears, and it provides critical nutrition essentials to support eye health. It contains 1400 mg total triglyceride-based omega-3 (504 mg EPA, 378 mg DHA, and 350 mg ALA) along with flaxseed oil and vitamin E for an antioxidant punch. Simply take 2 softgels per day for optimal benefits.

Lipotriad

5. PRN Omega-V Benefits

If you’re vegan or vegetarian and do not wish to consume fish oil, PRN has a great option for you. PRN’s Omega-V Benefits️ is a vegan, non-GMO omega-3 created to support your eye health. Omega-V Benefits is composed of algae oil, a pure, non-fish, sustainable source of EPA and DHA. It contains 330 mg EPA and 670 mg DHA. This bioavailable form can be easily absorbed for eye, heart, brain and overall health benefits. Simply take 1 teaspoon per day.

Omega-V PRN

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