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Balancing Your EFA's

 

Essential Fatty Acids [EFA's] are a hot topic right now as the cure all for a number of debilitating illnesses, including: heart disease, stroke, cancer, depression, Alzheimers, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, digestive disorders, and greatly improve your overall health and increase your energy.

The two main EFA's are Omega-3 and Omega-6.

 

Omega-3

Omega-3 is one of the the most known nutritional deficiencies, and as a nutrient is far more important than any other vitamin or mineral deficiency. Often seemingly unrelated problems such as weight gain, memory problems and allergies are attributed to a deficiency in Omega-3.

Studies show that optimal omega-3 levels not only boosts your overall physical health and energy, but also helps retain mental function as you age.

 

Omega-6

Omega-6 is another essential fatty acid, also very important for good health. In most cases, your food intake supplies you with plenty of Omega-6, hence deficiencies in Omega-6 are uncommon.

The health concern with Omega-6 is that if too much is consumed, it can actually promote disease. The key is to adopt the ideal Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio.

 

The Omega-6 to Omega-3 Ratio

The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats is 1:1. In most instances, current ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 average from 20:1 to 50:1!

This highly skewed ratio is due to the high consumption of omega-6 oils: corn, soy, canola, safflower, and sunflower oils. Indemic of the large quantity takeout and processed food being consumed.

In contrast, Omega-3 food sources are not highly consumed: flaxseed oil, walnut oil, and fish.

The end result is far too much Omega-6 consumption and insufficient Omega-3 consumption, pulling the ideal ratio way out of balance.

The solution is obvious, decrease your Omega-6 consumption and increase your Omega-3 consumption.

 

Decreasing Omega-6

Reducing your Omega-6 intake is as simple as limiting the amount of vegetable oils in your diet. This includes that oil contained in mnny processed foods [baked goods, potato chips, salad dressings, margarine, shortening, etc.] Replace you cooking and dressing oil to a high-quality extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil.

 

Increasing Your Omega-3 Fats

The best type of omega-3 fats are those found in fish. Omega-3 found in fish is high in two crucial fatty acids, DHA and EPA, key in preventing heart disease, cancer, and many other diseases.

DHA is essential for brain function. Low DHA levels have been linked to depression, schizophrenia, memory loss, and a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's.

Omega-3 found in plant sources like flaxseeds, exists as the fatty acid ALA. However, the body must convert ALA into DHA and EPA, resulting in a very small amount of Omega-3 being released, compared to the quantity of food consumed.

The best source of Omega-3 is by natural supplement. Much of the earths fish stocks are pollluted with mercury, PCBs, and other toxins. High mercury levels have been linked with naso-pharyngeal cancer.

Supplement daily with a high-quality brand of fish oil or cod liver oil. The other benefits of using an Omega-3 supplement are:

Cod liver oil also contains vitamins A and D. [Remember- too much Vitamin A can cause health problems]

Oils used in the manufacture of supplements are purified and therefore do not pose the health risks of polluted fish.

It’s wise to be aware of the amount of vitamin A you are taking if you take cod liver oil or you can get too much.

You can find more healthy eating tips in the Wellness Section of the Antiaging-Wellness webiste.

You can purchase Omega-3 supplements through the online Antiaging-Wellness Shop.

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