Why is it important?
A healthy diet doesn’t need to cut out fat. In fact, studies suggest that people should be consuming more fat (healthy fat, that is). Both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are important components of cell membranes and support the body in many systems, including regulating blood pressure and inflammatory responses. Our bodies do not synthesize some omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids therefore classifying them as essential fatty acids.
Studies suggest that omega-3, primarily EPA and DHA, can supress inflammation and have beneficial roles in alleviating a variety of diseases including autoimmune diseases, diabetes, cancer, stroke, and Alzheimer’s.
Today’s Standard American Diet (SAD) tends to be high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUTA) and have a very high omega-6/omega-3 ratio. The SAD diet is characterized by refined grains, pre-packaged foods, fried foods and high sugar drinks. These elevated levels of omega-6 promote the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. Studies suggest that the optimal ratio may vary with the disease under consideration. A lower ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is more desirable in reducing the risk of many of the chronic diseases of high prevalence in Western societies.
In summary, remember to feast on fish at least twice a week and regularly include omega-3 rich plant sources, such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts in your diet.
Why supplementation may be necessary:
Many people do not consume enough omega-3 sources to maintain healthy levels of omega-3. Fish oil supplementation has been shown to be associated with a lower risk of metabolic syndrome and benefit a wide range of chronic diseases. Because our bodies do not efficiently produce some omega-3 fatty acids from marine sources, it may be necessary to obtain adequate amounts through fish and fish oil products.
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