You take your fish oil religiously, but how much do you really know about the different fatty acids and the affects they have on your body? In following today’s nutritional trends, your fatty acid ratios may not be optimal for your health. An example of why from the Bulletproof Executive:
- Two types of polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, are natural anti-inflammatory agents
- Two common omega-6 fatty acids, AA and CLA, are pro-inflammatory.
- Omega-3’s counteract the affects of omega-6’s by mediating healthy inflammatory responses.
- However, high amounts of omega-6 compared to omega-3 can cause a range of negative responses.
- Studies show that humans actually evolved on a diet lower in omega-6 and higher in omega-3 than what we typically consume today (one of the many reasons to consider going Paleo). Much of this is due to the production of vegetable oils and the use of multi-grain feed for livestock, all of which has made our food high in omega-6 content.
Dave Asprey, the Bulletproof Executive and upcoming author of The Better Baby Book, and our CEO, Jim Kean, sit down to discuss both the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and how to achieve optimal ratios. They also offer some nifty tricks on eating healthy while on the move.
Despite the increase in consumption of plant-based oils, 25% of North Americans don’t possess the gene responsible for converting plant-based fatty acids into useful long-chain fatty acids. And even those who do possess this gene only convert at very low levels, meaning that 40 grams of inflammatory omega-6 is needed just to get 1 gram of anti-inflammatory omega-3. This can be very taxing on the body’s enzyme system, something vegetarians and vegans should be dutifully aware of when assessing their nutritional plans. ‘Healthy’ range for omega-6 to omega-3 ratios is considered to be under 4:1.
So, really, how feasible is it for you to drop all the way down from 40:1 to 4:1? Consider this: both Jim and Dave have decreased their ratios to under 2:1! They achieved this by testing their levels and then simply manipulating their diets with fish oils, krill oils and prioritizing grass-fed beef over corn-fed beef. If they can do it, so can you.
Remember: eliminating certain fats isn’t the answer. They all have their roles in powering our bodies. Finding the correct balance of the different types of these nutrients is the best way to ensure a healthy lifestyle.