Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid (EFA) and one of the 90 essential nutrients recommended by Dr. Wallach for optimum health.
It is mega important (essential in fact) because it is required for a wide range of functions in the body and needs to be consumed in one’s diet. Omega-3 plays a crucial role in brain activity, normal growth and development, and helps to reduce the risk of heart disease.
In addition, Omega-3 helps minimize inflammation, which decreases the risk of a variety of chronic diseases.
In a world where so many people suffer from heart disease, cancer, and arthritis, Omega-3 intake is becoming more and more vital.
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Review Survey showed that 95.7% of the nationally representative sample of Americans had Omega-3 sub-optimal amounts. The main problem here is that Americans consume exceptionally high levels of Omega-6 (polyunsaturated fatty acids) from hazardous food sources, such as vegetable oils.
While we need Omega-6 in our diets, as it is important for a number of functions, high Omega-6 levels from unhealthy food sources are pro-inflammatory and may cause harm to your health.
A balanced 1:1 or even 2:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 will be optimal. However this is simply not the case for 95% of Americans. Today’s modern diet ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 is close to 20:1, suggesting inflammation is very high in most American diets. Eating a diet from safe sources of Omega 3 and Omega 6 is important for optimum health.
Below are some examples of suitable Omega-6 and Omega-3 food sources.
Omega-6: avocados, nuts and seeds, eggs, grass-fed meat (including chicken and pork) and coconut oil.
Omega-3: fish (wild-caught), fish oil, nuts, eggs, flaxseed and other marine sources.
The Omega-6s that most Americans eat do not come from safe food sources. Below are some examples of daily omega-6 intake.
Unhealthy Omega-6: vegetable oils (corn oil, soybean oil, canola oil, safflower oil, etc.), salad dressings and mayonnaise, processed snacks (chips, popcorn, food bars), fast food (especially French fries), sweets (cookies, sweets, baked goods, cakes, etc.).
Low Omega 3 Dangers
Current low levels of Omega-3 put many individuals at risk for a number of chronic diseases, the most prevalent of which is heart disease. It will take more than a few salmon filets and eggs to repair the current sub-optimal Omega-3 level; supplementation is required.
Ultimate EFA Plus contains more than 500 mg of Omega-3s (ALA, EPA and DHA) with a little more than 100 mg of Omega-6 from safe sources. Although you eat healthy EFAs through supplements, you also want to make the required dietary changes to keep your Omega-6 intake minimal.
Eating Omega-3 supplements while continuing to consume unhealthy foods rich in Omega-6 would do little to help your health.
Together basic diet changes and EFA supplementation can go a long way to future health as we age.
Prevention of health problems is key to longevity.