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Balancing Omega Fats

October 15, 2017

By Joan L. McDaniel                                October 15, 2017

This is Part 3 of my series covering dietary fats.  This article covers Omega Fats. Part one Coconut Oil Helped Me Get Well Again, Part 2 Another Look at Cooking Oils.

Omega Fats

This article discusses my research on Omega Fats.

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Omega 6 to 3 Balance

Omega Fats are Polyunsaturated Fats.  There are two different chemical structures for Omega Fats, known as Omega-3 and Omega-6.  Both omega fats are essential fatty acids.  Essential mean our bodies can’t exist without them but it cannot make them by itself.  So the fats have to be part of the diet, which means you have to eat them.

Omega Fats Work Together to Maintain Balance

As Oscar Wilde said,  “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” , I guess that’s why people say, “Eat a Balanced Diet”.

Wall Street knows a business needs a balanced Balance Sheet.  A Balance sheets offers a way to look inside the health of your business.  To remain healthy your body also needs a balance sheet.

Your balance sheet is HOW YOU FEEL! If you’re not feeling well maybe it was something you ate or didn’t!!!!!

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Balance Sheet

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Balance

Homeostasis 

What is homeostasis? Homeostasis is what the word balance means to the body. Just as how your body operates is complicated, so is the concept called Homeostasis. Needless to say, the subject takes some time and years to really understand, for our purpose a simple illustration introduces one aspect of homeostasis.

I am still amazed at how the body works.  The more I learn, the more I need to know.  I may not have a complete understand but at least, I am learning how to listen to it.

Homeostasis is the ability of an organism or cell to maintain an internal equilibrium by adjusting its physiological processes.  Our bodies are constantly maintaining a delegate balance. It is a 24-7 activity – Every minute of every day 365 days a year

When the body becomes out-of-balance, it sends you messages by producing symptoms.  These messages are  signals and are called signs and symptoms.  Like a fever, hangover, stomach ache, and many more signs and symptoms. You are responsible to figure out what your body needs to maintain its healthy balance.  Normally this means starting or stopping an activity.  Like eating more of or less of something.

Balance means without illness. The system is free of illness.  Once the body is out-of-balance it is sick. Once the body recovers this balance the symptoms disappear, rapidly and permanently.  The natural state of balance (homeostasis) returns and the body becomes symptom free.

It maintains this balance by what it has on hand.  If you eat it, it uses it.  If your body needs something to maintain this balance it uses your taste buds to tell you. You have to learn to listen, not to your sugar crazed mind but to your taste buds.

Fight or Flight 

The above illustration shows the Autonomic nervous system’s response to danger called “Fight or Flight” vs its normal (Parasympathetic) activity.

The Autonomic nervous system is just that, it’s automatic.  You do not have any control over it.  Your body reacts all by itself.  It is a control system that regulates digestion, heart rate, respiratory rate, urination and many other responses to stimuli.  It may give you a moment to make a quick decision as to which direction to run, but you don’t have much to say about it.

Now Back to Omega Fats

I will say again, Omega Fats are Polyunsaturated Fats.  They are also called essential fats.  Essential means our bodies can’t exist without them but it cannot make them by itself.  The fats must be part of the diet.

Good Fat – Bad Fat?

Now what makes Omega Fats a little difficult to understand is you need them both in your diet.  Yet, Omega-6 fats tend to increase inflammation and Omega – 3 fats tend to decrease inflammation.  So you might consider Omega – 3 fats as good and Omega – 6 fats as bad except – Your body needs them both.

Omega Fats Work Together to Maintain Balance

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Omega Fats and Balance

One to One Ratio

Omega Fats 3/6 work with each other. Humans are thought to have evolved with a diet of a 1-to-1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 and the optimal ratios is thought to be closer to 4-to-1 or lower.  Our modern diet isn’t anything like that it is more like 16-to-1, more.

Our Current Diets are Deficient 

Our Current Day Diets provide more Omega-6 fats (bad fats) and less Omega-3 (good fats). What your body needs is as close to 4-to-1 or lower ratio.

This puts your bodies all important homeostasis  out-of-balance, and opened and subject to illness. Like catching a cold, or having an asthma attack.

Sources of Omega-6 (Bad Fat) Fatty Acids;

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Sweet Onion web-site has more information including a great list of Omega-6 fat sources.

Omega-6 fatty acids come from polyunsaturated vegetable oils, and fast-food and processed food made from these oils, butter, chicken fat, fish, eggs, legumes, meat, nuts, and many other foods.

Sources of Omega-3 (Good Fat)

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Omega – 3 fats mostly come from eggs, flax seeds, oily fish, a good source of fish oil or krill oil supplements, and walnuts.

You need food that is listed both as Omega-3 and Omega-6.

How to eat Omega Fats

You need food that is listed both as Omega-3 and Omega-6 and/or According to Dr. Oz:

“Increasing Omega-3s in your diet is important but not enough; It is also best to decrease intake of Omega-6s.  “’Our problems (related to essential fatty acid balance) are probably caused not by a lack of fish in our diets but by an over consumption of seed oils and under consumption of greens,’” writes Dr. Artemis Simopoulos in The Omega Diet. We need to reduce or eliminate our intake of such oils as corn oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, sesame oil and sunflower oil. While the whole seed is much healthier, nuts and seeds are a very-concentrated food and you don’t want to overdo their use.”

The Best Source for a 1:1 Balanced Food

Fish is the best source for proper balanced foods but I have found Grass Feed beef and chicken can also be eaten. Sardines ratio is 1:1,

Grass Feed Beef and Chicken ratio is 1.5:1.  For grain feed (factory farmed) beef is 16.8:1

-REMEMBER YOU MUST EAT OMEGA FATS IN BALANCE-

Your body and mind will thank you.

Foods I found to eat

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Navy Beans are most balanced, Chickpeas least balanced.

Kale is most balanced, Green Leaf is least

Chia or flax seed is most balanced, Almonds is least

Grass Fed is most balanced, Olive oil is least

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Anchovy most balanced, Caviar least

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What about canned fish?

A few years ago I wrote an article Is there a Difference between Smoked Salmon and Frozen?

I found once the salmon is smoked, it lost its omega-3, putting out-of-balance.  I also found that canned fish is an excellent source.  Since, both me and my cats like fish, I purchase most it canned.  My lovely but very picky cat has me even eating canned anchovies, herring, and mackerel. I feel its fresher than the fish in the fresh or frozen display cases.

Fish Oil Supplements

In my opinion and Preston Mason, a biochemist at Harvard Medical School, most Fish oil or Krill oil supplements are rancid.  It’s not always easy for consumers to tell which products have degraded.

“Fish oil is a polyunsaturated fatty acid; it has multiple double bonds. So it’s highly unstable and very vulnerable to sun light, or regular light, air (oxygen), and other conditions,”.

Eating Foods rich in both oils like real fish is better, even though there are some health hazards like toxic mercury.  Experts are divided on the benefits in taking fish oil in supplement form.  Supplements have Omega 3 fats only making supplements extremely unstable.

Dr. David Agus, bestselling author of The End of Illness and a professor of medicine at the University of Southern California, says this is another reason to get nutrients from food…’Buy that fish at the fish market, you’ve got your own quality metric,’

Till Next Time

Sources

Learn more: Here’s a video of Dr. Hibbeln talking about the omega-3 and omega-6 balance ratio at the 2010 Integrative Mental Health Conference.

http://fitnessblackbook.com/diet-tips/the-four-types-of-fat-sorting-out-the-confusion-of-dietary-fats

http://www.easytastyclean.com/ingredients/healthy-fats-how-much-should-you-eat-and-in-what-form/

https://www.drweil.com/vitamins-supplements-herbs/vitamins/balancing-omega-3-and-omega-6/

https://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/foods-with-a-high-omega3-to-omega6-ratio.php

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/optimize-omega-6-omega-3-ratio

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400149/balancing-omega-3-and-omega-6.html

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