Omega 3-6 fatty acid imbalance is a key reason for weight gain. The key to weight loss is a balance and not elimination of all omega-6 fatty acids.
Many have heard all about the importance of keeping a balance of essential fatty acids from the omega-3 and omega-6 groups for vibrant health. Overweight individuals who eat an abundance of processed foods containing omega-6 fatty acids usually end up out of balance. Most individuals who are overweight have a balance of one to 22 omega-3 to -6 balance. The ideal balance is one to four. In an effort to correct this imbalance, most people will eliminate all processed foods from the diet and eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This strategy works great in the beginning of a diet to eliminate high levels of omega-6 from the system. However, individuals usually come to a plateau if the diet contains no omega-6 fatty acids. Both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential to body function and repair. Keeping in mind the important omega-3 to -6:1:4 ratio, balance the diet with foods from both groups of fats for the best weight loss strategy.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Heart and Brain Health
Omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent coronary artery disease by decreasing the formation of very low density lipoproteins and triglycerides in the liver. In weight loss, omega-3 fatty acids assist the liver in the metabolism and burning other fats. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids change the metabolism of platelets in the blood responsible for blood clotting, one factor involved in blockages in the arteries. As little as one ounce of fish a day or two ounces of fish oil will provide this level of protection.
It is important to keep an omega 3-6 balance as when omega 3s are too high, as a danger of bleeding can occur. That is why surgeons recommend their patients discontinue omega-3 supplementation prior to surgery. Easy, frequent bruising can be a sign that omega-3 fatty acids need to be balanced with more omega-6 fatty acids. Recently, a study in The Lancet demonstrated omega-3s’ profound ability to halt and reverse aging in the brain. It may have antidepressant and neuro-protective abilities that play a role in areas of the brain associated with happiness. A feeling of wellbeing is especially helpful to those trying to reduce weight and remain productive. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are fatty fish, fish oils, flax seed, hemp oil, hemp seeds and walnuts.
Omega-6 Fatty Acids for Anti-Inflammatory Action
Omega-6 fatty acids play a role in reduction of inflammation in the body when consumed in the right balance with omega-3s. However, a totally elimination of GLA from the diet will stop weight loss for those on a reducing diet. GLA plays a crucial role in the metabolism of fat in the body so a lack of it stops fat burning. The individual may continue with weight loss but they will be burning hard earned muscle mass and not fat stores from the body. The goal of a weight reduction diet is to burn fat and not muscle. Oil of Primrose is rich in GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) an important omega-6 fatty acid. In addition, GLA has anti-inflammatory action and is helpful to those suffering from arthritis. Other sources of this important omega-6 fatty acid is borage oil, hemp oil, hemp seed, chia seed, and almonds. Hemp oil is the only oil known to date to have the perfect ratio of omega 3-6 fatty acids.