While omega-3 oils (a.k.a. alpha linolenic acid) have been touted to have many health benefits, Fish oil scattering on white backgroundthey may be doing you no good IF you don’t change your diet.

IF you continue to indulge in fried foods, foods rich in omega-6 oils and trans fat-laden baked ‘goods’, simply supplementing with fish oil capsules or liquid may not be enough to fan the fires of chronic inflammation—swelling, heat, redness and pain.

What’s this about omega-6s in the same sentence as bad fats? Well, the truth is that omega-6 fatty acids (linoleic acid) are building blocks for two substances, one of which is viewed as desirable, the other, problematic.  Which pathway the oils take will depend on whether your diet contains adequate amounts of other c0-factors, such as magnesium and B vitamins.   If you eat processed foods made with soybean oil, corn oil, sunflower seed oil, palm kernel oil or cottonseed oil, then you are fueling the production of inflammatory prostaglandin series-2 chemicals.  North Americans eat far too much omega-6 and too little omega-3.

Here’s a sample list of processed foods made with oils that are comprised largely of omega-6s:

Assortment Of Salad Dressing Bottles

  • mayonnaise
  • salad dressings
  • breads (yes, even the store-baked ones)
  • cake mixes
  • crackers
  • cookies
  • frozen entrees
  • frozen pizza
  • tortilla and potato chips
  • restaurant food

The more of these you eat on a regular basis, the more omega-3s it will take to offset the detrimental effects.

It makes more practical sense to limit our intake of omega-6 laden foods. This is easiest to accomplish if you buy whole, minimally processed foods and prepare your own meals instead of store-bought, prepared products.

While you’re at it, consider using more of the omega-3 rich oils, found in:

  • flax seed
  • chia seed
  • wild cold water fish (mackerel, sardine, herring, halibut, WILD salmon)

Flaxseeds (also called linseeds) - rich source of healthy fat, antioxidants, and fiber

Yes, an omega-3 supplement is still a good idea—but taking one doesn’t give you permission to indulge in the processed foods I listed earlier!

Remember, you’ll get better results–i.e. less pain, swelling and redness when you reduce your omega-6 consumption.

Finally, There’s only one type of oil worse than omega-6s and trans fats, and that’s rancid oil!

Follow these guidelines for your safety and benefit:

  1. If you buy liquid fish oil or flax seed oil, keep it in the fridge or freezer to slow down the spoilage.
  2. Be sure to consume it within 6 weeks.
  3. Give it the ‘sniff’ test—if flax seed oil smells like fish or varnish, it’s rancid! Don’t feed it to a pet, either. It should now be regarded as a poison. Discard it safely.

By Andrea

Leave a Reply