We’ve all heard the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. They are a group of poly unsaturated fatty acids that are important for multiple functions in the body. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids decrease heart disease and premature death. They have further been found to help symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. They even may help treat and prevent anxiety and depression. They also have been shown to decrease inflammation and it’s myriad effects in the body, and may improve bone and joint health.
Over the past two generations, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in the average American diet, has greatly increased. For ideal health, the ratio should be approximately 1 to 1. With the advance of processed foods, over-consumption of simple carbohydrates and factory produced meat and fish, the ratio has approached 6 to 1 for many people. This makes chronic inflammation worse and greatly contributes to our country’s epidemic of chronic diseases.
It is so important that you not only consider what you eat but what you eat ate. Factory raised fish, corn fed cattle and chickens raised in overcrowded pens all have poor ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.
Whenever you can, buy free range fish such as salmon. It is more expensive but the health benefits are worth it. Buy beef that was grass fed and allowed to graze in open fields. This produces beef that is much healthier for the consumer. Free range chickens as well as the eggs they produce, contain a healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids and are much better for you. To further optimize the health benefits of your fish or steak, never burn it or overcook it.
In 1826, the French lawyer Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote “Tell me what you eat and I’ll tell you what you are“. There is no stronger medicine then the food we eat. Increased inflammation caused by modern food processing skews the ratio of omega six to omega-3‘s. Increased inflammation contributes to multiple chronic diseases. These include fatty liver, metabolic syndrome, pain and inflammation of our joints and heart disease to name a few. Take the time to seek out dark leafy green vegetables, high omega-3 meats and only healthy oils such as extra-virgin olive oil.
“Consider what you eat ate“