Did you know that eating the wrong kind of fat can make your body inflamed? Polyunsaturated fats are primarily omega-6 and omega-3. For optimal health we should consume roughly the same amount of omega-3 and omega-6, in a one-to-one ratio.
The Western diet intake of omega-6 can be up to 30% of total calories which is 15x higher than what it should be. Omega-6 dominant diets are associated with an increase in virtually all inflammatory-disease. Just to give you an idea, excess omega-6 is linked with heart disease, diabetes, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, cancer, and more.
The primary omega six fat is linoleic acid or LA. It’s found in industrially processed and refined vegetable/seed oils like soy, cotton seed, corn, safflower, sunflower, etc., and in commercial salad dressing, nuts and in poultry especially dark meat poultry with the skin.
In terms of omega-3s there are two types. There is short-chain omega-3s, which is alpha-linolenic acid, found in plant foods like flax. And then we have long-chain omega-3s like EPA and DHA found in cold water fish. These long-chain omega-3s – not the short chain ones – determine our omega-3 to omega-6 ratio that should be roughly 1:1.
The best way of normalizing omega six to three ratio and reduce inflammation is supplementing with some omega-3, like taking fish oil and dramatically reducing omega-6 intake.