Fatty acids help with cell development and growth. They’re are over 20 different types of fatty acids found in food, but for the sake of today’s blog, I’m going to simplify them into two categories: Omega-3 and Omega-6.
Omega-3 vs. Omega-6: The American Diet Imbalance
Omega-3 fatty acids help with brain, nerve, and eye development. They help keep your immune system and heart healthy. Foods like fish and eggs are high in omega-3 fats.
Omega-6 fatty acids help with skin, hair, and bone growth. They help regulate your genes and prevent blood clots. Foods like meat and beans are high in omega-6 fats.
Most dieticians recommend a ratio of 1:4 (omega 3:omega 6). Because most Americans eat a lot of meat and very little fish, some studies have found our diets to be as out of whack as 1:30.
This 6x problem manifests itself in increased inflammation throughout the body, particularly in the joints. It also can lead to many chronic diseases.
Cue the fish oil supplement.
The best thing you can do to decrease inflammation and get back to a healthier balance of fats is to eat foods that are high in omega-3’s. Fish, eggs, flaxseed, walnuts, and tofu are some examples.
But other than eggs, what Americans are used to eating fish, flaxseed, walnuts, and tofu? I remember when I married my wife, her family had tofu two times a week… that tasteless blog of jiggle was hard to get used to for me.
So unless you like tofu, or you can make it a habit of cooking up some fish 1-2 times a week for dinner, a fish oil supplement would be wise.
When it comes to fish oil, there are a lot of options on the market. The graph below is the best example of which one to look for.
Strive to mix in some fish or other foods in your diet for dinner a couple times a week.
If adding foods high in omega-3’s just aren’t in the picture right now, however, pick up a fish oil supplement from Costco next week. Use the graph above to find the right one for you.