Our bodies need both of these building blocks and they can only be derived from food, however, the key is how much of which for a healthy balance.[1]

The balance is significant because some omega-6 tends to cause inflammation while omega-3 reduces it.[2] Chronic inflammation in the body leads to all kinds of adverse reactions besides simply pain: heart disease, stroke, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and more.

Scientists and nutritionists vary on the optimal ratio of omegas—the range is 1:1 to 4:1 of omega-6 to omega-3. In the North American diet, the typical ratio is 16:1. That’s bad, by any standard. What this means is that inflammation can run rampant and do its nasty deeds.[3]

Omegas are critical for brain, skin, and hair growth and development.

The dominance of omega-6 fatty acids occurs as the result of increased intake of processed and fatty foods—along with an excess of animal fats—and the decrease of foods containing omega-3s to counteract them.

The answer to balance, of course, is not simply to eat more fats that contain omega-3; be mindful of what you’re eating to reduce the omega-6 and make sure you’re getting enough omega-3 and you’ll meet in the middle.


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