Good fats in food: Omega-3 and Omega-6

We live in a time when everyone wants to diet. The market is flooded with light products. And yet it is wrong to eliminate all fats from our diet. Fats are one of the basic nutrients and essential for our health. It only becomes unhealthy if we eat too much of it. And we must pay attention to which fats we choose. Good fats include fish oil and vegetable oils from rapeseed, olives, linseed or algae. Because all these oils contain a high level of omega-3 fatty acids or are rich in oleic acid. On the other hand, omega-6 fatty acids predominate in animal fats, but also in oil from sunflowers or corn. Our body uses the long-chain omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids to produce hormone-like substances that significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease through their effect on the blood vessels.

What are essential fatty acids

We live in a time when everyone wants to diet. The market is flooded with light products. We hear again and again that we should use less fat. And yet it is wrong to think that we must eliminate all fat from our diet. After all, not all types of fat are bad. Even more, our body needs certain fats to stay in optimal health, the essential fatty acids.

The meaning of Omega-3 and Omega-6

The essential fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6 are the building blocks for cell membranes: they ensure the production of brain and nerve tissue. They are responsible for the production of energy and an efficient immune system. Furthermore, they provide nourishment for dry skin and thus have a special value in dermatology. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats also ensure the production of a very important group of hormones, the so-called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins play a key role in numerous metabolic processes, including cholesterol regulation, platelet aggregation and the regulation of inflammatory processes.
The problem is that essential fatty acids are absolutely essential for the optimal functioning of our body, but they cannot be produced by our body itself. That is why we must get them from our diet in sufficient quantities and in the right proportions.

Does our diet contain sufficient essential fatty acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) are mainly found in fish, nuts, linseed and purslane. Omega-6 fatty acids (GLA) mainly in vegetable oils such as borage oil, evening primrose oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, grapeseed oil and corn oil. However
, modern cultivation methods have ensured that the soil has lost much of its original nutritional value and that crops and grains no longer contain essential fatty acids. Most of the fish we currently have on our plates also comes from fish farms where the fish are artificially fed. As a result, that fish contains much less omega-3 fatty acids than the fish that comes from the ocean.
In addition, our modern lifestyle entails an additional reduction in the amount of omega-3 in our body: o mega-3 is easily broken down by caffeine and alcohol, increased use of medicines and pharmaceutical products, smoking, air pollution and stress .
The ratio between the essential fatty acids is also important. Our Western diet contains far too little omega-3 compared to omega-6. In some cases it has even been found that 20 to 25 times more omega-6 than omega-3 is absorbed. A healthy ratio is 1:1. Research shows that a lack of certain fatty acids or a long-term imbalance can lead to a deterioration of health.

Good and bad fats

Many so-called “modern” fats such as margarine, dressings, snacks, chips, hydrogenated oils and any fats that are heated to very high temperatures when baking or frying are unhealthy. Our Western civilization diseases such as cancer, heart disease, immune system disorders, infertility, learning difficulties and osteoporosis are an expression of this.
The refining process designed to slow down the oil’s deterioration exposes the oil to extremely high temperatures, chemicals and bleaches, artificial additives and preservatives, resulting in an odorless, colorless and neutral-tasting oil whose vital nutrients are depleted. were destroyed. In addition, during this processing process, the omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids are unfortunately partly converted into harmful trans fatty acids. These increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Moreover, they significantly increase the risk of cancer.

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