These days almost everyone who is relatively health conscious has heard of omega-3 fats. The’ve heard that omega-3s protect against many different diseases by reducing inflammation, and that most Americans aren’t getting enough of these fats.
However, what many people aren’t aware of is that omega-6 fats have nearly the opposite effect of omega-3s. Omega-6 fats promote inflammation and contribute to modern diseases such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Unfortunately, omega-6 fats are ubiquitous in the modern diet. They’re found in nearly all processed, refined and restaurant-cooked foods, and recent statistics suggest they may constitute as much as 20% of calories in the average American’s diet.
In this series of articles I explain the basics of omega-3 and omega-6 fats, their role in the body, how much of each we need to prevent disease and promote health, and where they are found in the diet.
Many are aware that fish are a significant source of omega-3s. But these days people are scared to eat fish because of concerns about mercury and other toxins. I present evidence that proves these concerns have been overblown, and that fish is indeed not only safe to eat, but an important part of a healthy diet.
Fish oil has become increasingly popular in the last ten years, partly due to concerns about fish safety. Yet most people don’t understand that not all fish oils are created alike. Several popular products on the market are rancid and/or produced with inferior ingredients, which may end up causing the very problems that people are taking fish oils to address. In the final article of the series, I discuss seven important criteria to consider when selecting a fish oil.