Fatty acids provide incredible nutrition to the body, especially the brain. A combination of omega-3s and omega-6s provides a whole host of benefits, such as cognitive support, healthy skin regeneration, and anti-inflammatory properties.
The key, though, is in the ratio. It is ideal to follow a 2:1 ratio when consuming fatty acids, with twice as many omega-3s as omega-6s.
The Standard American Diet has way too much omega-6, leading to health problems like heart disease, inflammation, cancer, depression, and more.
This is because omega-6 fatty acids are in vegetable oils and processed meats. Vegetable oils are used in virtually every commercial food item, leading to an inevitable buildup of omega-6s in your diet without you even realizing it!
As a result, a major anti-omega-6 campaign was launched in the health food industry.
The problem? Omega-6 fatty acids are pretty good for you! Just in moderation, of course.
The Many Benefits of Omega 6 Fatty Acids
Our bodies do not naturally produce omega-6, unlike omega-3, meaning that we must consume our recommended amount each day. We need it for optimal cognitive functioning, skin cell regeneration, hair growth, metabolism regulation, and reproductive purposes.
Omega-6 fatty acids also reduce inflammation in the body, which is especially helpful for people with diabetes. Diabetes causes inflammation throughout the body, most notably in the blood vessels. Omega-6 can help reduce this inflammation.
This magical fatty acid also reduces nerve pain, including diabetic neuropathy. This, though, depends on your blood glucose control. People with better control of their glucose levels will benefit more from Omega-6 than those who do not.
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Reduce the Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes
A recent study examined a whopping 40,000 adults from 10 countries. Around 4,000 of the participants had type 2 diabetes at the start of the study.
The researchers took blood samples from the participants in order to measure omega-6 levels. What they found shocked them.
The participants who had the highest levels of omega-6 were 35 percent less likely to develop the disease. This is shocking because previous research pointed to omega-6 being a health risk, not a benefit.
This is because most of the omega-6 we consume today comes in potato chips, packaged foods, processed meats, and cheap vegetable oils. When you get your omega-6s from healthy sources, (such as grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and eggs, nuts, seeds, and plant-based oils) then you will reap the benefits without the risks.
As always, research seems to point to the same conclusion: a healthy, wholesome diet is always best.
Healthline. URL Link. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
Dr. Axe. URL Link. Retrieved November 2, 2017.