Omega-3 Omega-6 Omega-9 And Your Health
Fatty acids are a source of energy of the human body, notably the heart and skeletal muscles. In the past few decades, greasy foods have been associated with poor health, obesity, and disease, spurring a large fraction of the population into avoiding foods that contain any trace of fats. Many people don’t know that they are leaving out an important component of a healthy diet by doing so.
A group of fatty acids called unsaturated fatty acids is essential to the normal functioning of many different body organs. In fact, what medical professionals refer to as healthy fats are unsaturated fatty acids. As a general rule, we need healthy consumptions of all unsaturated fatty acids. That being said, we must make sure we get more omega-3 fatty acid than any other fats. Here’s the reason why.
Omega-9 Fatty Acids
A family of unsaturated fatty acids called omega-9 fatty acids is not classified as essential by experts, which means our body is capable of producing these fatty acids in amounts adequate to sustain its biological roles. Good sources include vegetable oils such as olive oil, grape seed oil, peanut oil, and sesame oil. Animal products like lard and chicken fat are also rich in omega-9 fatty acid.
Oleic oil is one omega-9 fatty acid that is most abundant in the human body, especially in those individuals with more pronounced adiposity. This unsaturated fatty acid takes up a large part of adipose tissues, which includes the visible and oftentimes undesirable subcutaneous fat. However, omega-9 fatty acid intake is in general considered healthy in comparison with saturated fatty acids.
Omega-6 Fatty Acids
The most readily available of healthy fats that have been linked to many health claims is the group called omega-6 fatty acids. Today our diet contains high quantities of these unsaturated fatty acids, which are found in eggs and other poultry products, cereals and whole wheat breads, nuts and beans, and many fruits and vegetables.
In biochemistry, omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory, though they are also anti-inflammatory. Arachidonic acid (AA) is the biological precursor of mediators of inflammation, especially the group of eicosanoids called prostaglandins. In addition, the body is not capable of producing sufficient amounts of linoleic acid (LA), an essential fatty acid. Pro-inflammatory means it can cause inflammation in the body, you need to offset the amount of omega-6 with omega-3, to combat inflammation.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are all omega-3 fatty acids. ALA is one of the only two essential fatty acids, and as such can only be obtained from the diet. EPA and DHA have long been tied to many health benefits and have been used in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, mental disorders, and even cancer.
Omega-3 fatty acids are dubbed the healthiest of all fats largely owing to its anti-inflammatory role in the body. They are widely accepted to be good for the heart and the brain. More importantly, the scientific community is convinced that the intake ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids should be in favor of omega-3.
Take Omega-3 daily!
We all get a lot of omega-9 and omega-6 but most do not get much omega-3. If you want to feel better, combat inflammation, and improve your health, take omega-3 daily!