Its Better for you (Reason #3 in our Top 10) & the Omega 6 to 3 Ratio
October 9, 2023
Since the dawn of fish-oil supplements, a craze has erupted over the Omega fatty acids. Health experts and fitness gurus have raved on and on about why they are essential for a healthy diet. We know that both the Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to proper bodily function and health overall. But many fail to consider the ratio of Omega-6s and Omega-3s consumed. Getting the ratio right is an important part of a health-conscious diet.
Here's' the long in short: Omega-6 fatty acids are beneficial for brain health, metabolism, and cell growth. Omega-3 fatty acids lower bad cholesterol, increase good cholesterol, improve cardiac health, and reduce inflammation. Both are needed. This is why the label on fish-oil supplements emphasizes the product contains both.
What is the problem? Most Americans consume far too many Omega-6s. Our western diet typically consists of too many fried foods and more refined ingredients vice whole ingredients. This is a modern development. Historically, Americans cooked with whole ingredients and did not use plant-based oils (high in Omega-6s) as much as we do now. Inevitably, the 6-to-3 ratio of the Western diet has been heavily skewed, which means millions of Americans are susceptible to the consequences of a bad ratio. In adopting the Western diet whole-scale Americans have subjected themselves to various health problems like metabolic disorders, heart disease, and chronic inflammation. In fact, heart disease is the number one health concern in our country which is largely caused by the Omega-6 dense foods and ingredients found in the Western diet.
We are consuming tons of Omega-6s, but only a minimal amount of Omega-3s. Some scientific studies suggest many Americans could have a 15:1 ratio. Meaning, they are consuming 15 times more Omega-6s than they are Omega-3s. This can lead to various health problems like chronic inflammation, improper hormone balance, obesity, and even cancer. According the scientific journal Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, “a very high omega-6/omega-3 ratio, as is found in today's Western diets, promote the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases” It’s paramount you get the 6-to-3 ratio correct in your diet.
However, this does not mean Omega-6s are completely dispensable in your diet. These fatty acids are still needed for a healthy lifestyle. So, what’s the solution?
The solution is to eat foods that have an appropriate 6-to-3 ratio, and to avoid foods that have high amounts of Omega-6s (skewing their 6-to-3 ratio). Foods to avoid are heavily processed foods and grocery store products that contain high amounts of plant-based oils, like canola and vegetable oil. Be sure to read the ingredients on your flour and wheat based products which may contain these ingredients. Of course, fast food will also contain high amounts of Omega-6s too, due to the way the food is cooked and prepared.
Foods that have an optimal 6-to-3 ratio are fish, meats, eggs, flax seeds and walnuts. You’ll notice these products are minimally processed, and many are animal sources! If you’re a follower of Dr. Weston A. Price, you know that animal products are not unhealthy but are actually beneficial to your health. Since 1999, the West A. Price Foundation has been dispelling the myths surrounding animal products. Scientists have caught onto this too. Animal fats contain high amounts of essential nutrients, like DHA.
Here’s the kicker: when it comes to integrating animal products to achieve a better 6-to-3 ratio in your diet, be sure they are either pasture-raised or grass-fed products. Animals that are raised on grain-based diets will not yield a product that is as high in Omega-3s. This is important. Simply integrating tons of animal products into your diet without sourcing them correctly will not yield the health benefits you desire.
That’s where we come in. Land Basket Farm products are either pasture-raised or grass-fed. Eggs from pasture-raised chicken have a 1:1 6-to-3 ratio, and grass-fed lamb has one of the best ratios out of all commonly consumed land animals. Our pork is forest raised. This improves the 6-to-3 ratio in the product several times over compared to mass-produced pork products. A good place to start integrating foods with better 6/3 ratios is pasture-raised chicken.
Fish mentioned earlier is an exceptional source of Omega 3 fatty acids. That is why Land Basket Farm now offers seasonally selected seafood as part of our “eat better” line up. Tuna, Salmon, and Mackerel are power fishes in the Omega 3 world.