Benefits, Health Concerns & Sources

Of course, minimizing your intake of fried and highly processed foods is a good move for your health for more reasons than just cutting back on omega-6s (i.e., maintaining gut health, blood sugar, and more).

As a general rule of thumb, Hunnes recommends sticking to a maximum of 1 to 2 tablespoons of foods containing omega-6s per day. “That might look like eating an ounce of sunflower seeds and cooking with a modest amount (i.e., tablespoon) of sunflower oil, for example,” she says. Other oils to limit include corn oil, soybean oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, and grapeseed oil. Whenever possible, opt for cooking oils lower in omega-6s, such as olive, avocado, and coconut oils, plus everyone’s favorite, EVOO.

Harris, meanwhile, suggests that you “leave your omega-6 intake alone and increase your intake of ‘fatty’ or ‘oily’ fish sources, like anchovies, salmon, sardines, herring, and albacore (white) tuna” in order to tip the scales back into a better balance of omega-6s to omega-3s. (Salmon, for example, has a 1:11 ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s, while anchovies have a 1:15 ratio, Keatley points out.)

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating two 3.5-ounce servings of fish (preferably the fatty variety Harris mentioned) per week as a baseline recommendation for the general population. By the way, that two-fish serving delivers about 500 milligrams of marine omega’s EPA and DHA. That said, few people actually consume this much fish. Over 90% of Americans aren’t consuming this baseline recommendation, so we’re looking at a national opportunity for improvement here.

It’s important to mention that the AHA recommends higher amounts (1 gram-plus of EPA and DHA daily) for focused heart-health support.* That’s the equivalent of consuming about an omega-3-rich fish a day, which is why a high-quality omega-3 supplement that delivers a potent and pure source of EPA plus DHA may be helpful for many.*

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