Good fats versus good fats: the fight between essential fatty acids

According to a new book called 'The Queen of Fats', the presence of high levels of omega-6s in US diets is nullifying the impact of heart disease-fighting omega-3s.

This is because omega-3s and omega-6s, both essential fatty acids, compete with each other in our body's metabolism.

Past research suggests that human beings evolved on a diet with a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 of approximately 1:1 whereas in Western diets the ratio is 15:1 or 16:1.

The book's author, Susan Allport, says: "It is not the fish we are NOT eating that is our problem, but the oils we ARE eating."

The book explains that most cooking oils used in the US (such as corn oil) contain high levels of omega-6s (a 46 to 1 ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s) whereas lesser used oils (such as canola) have a better ratio (2 to 1).

Also, when farmers feed corn and soybeans (instead of grass) to the animals people eat, their tissues become full of omega-6s at the expense of omega-3s. The book cites the example of eggs from chickens fed corn, which have one-tenth the omega-3s in them as eggs from free-range chickens that eat greens and bugs.

The book's author recommends that people consume oils and fats that have a healthier balance of omega-3s and omega-6s, and eat foods that are rich in omega-3s, including greens, flax seed, fish, and free range (or omega-3 enriched) meat, dairy products, and eggs.

For more information see the Foodconsumer website and the PubMed website.

Editor WorldPoultry

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