Omega 3 Oils missing from 99% of Americans Diets
By K. Shane Neifert, D.C.
A large percentage of Americans are deficient in omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are known for their benefits to heart and brain function. Deficiencies in these acids are common in conditions such as ADD, ADHD unclear memory, arthritis, inflammation, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and a host of other conditions you wish to avoid. 99 out of 100 individuals are said to be lacking them in your diet. Many nutritionists feel that for the minimal diet of 2000 calories, there must be at least 4000 mg of Omega 3 fatty acids. This means for the average healthy active guy who consumes 3,000 calories a day should be digesting at least 6,000 mg of these great oils. Note: that at half the recommended amounts needed 97% of Americans are still lacking the amounts of omega 3 fatty acids.
Nutritionists commonly agree that Omega 3 fatty acids should be supplemented into the average American diet. Its influence in our lives is that profound.
Here are a few simple facts about what the fatty acid does. It offsets omega 6 acids that cause swelling and inflammation to occur as series 2 prostaglandins. You know this process from COX 2 inhibitors. Heavy consumption of meat delivers arachidonic acid (omega 6) to your body causing a shift towards an increase in the inflammatory processes, while omega 3 fatty acids like LNA, EPA and DHA do the opposite. There needs to be a balance in this process. We use to get a healthy ratio of 3:1 omega 6 to omega 3 in our American diets 100 years ago. Now it is 20:1 for the average person. This imbalance happened as our food supply shifted to preprepared, preprocessed, and canned foods. Grocers didn’t want foods to go bad quickly, and omega 3 fatty acids were eliminated in the processed foods to give them a longer shelf life. Chickens went from scratching in the yard and creating eggs that had a ratio of 3:1 fatty acids to grain fed high yield birds with an egg ratio of 19:1 omega 6 to 3. It is interesting to note the average ADHD child is 25:1 of omega 6 to 3 ratio.
This is part of the problem. The rest is due to our now heavy consumption of vegetable oils high in omega 6’s. Think of all the foods that use vegetable oils in them – salad dressings, boxed foods, French fries, chips, etc.
Now for the solution. Eat less vegetable oils. Replace them with real butter, coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil. (Don’t cook the olive oil, it becomes carcinogenic when heated.) Coconut oil takes the heat better for stir frying or baking. Eat more fish, free range eggs, and walnuts. Note: to make up the difference in an average person deficient in Omega 3 fatty acids nothing is better than taking a good quality fish oil high with 60% of the weight in EPA’s or DHA’s. (1000 mg capsules should have 600+ omega 3’s) Be sure the source is free of pesticides, mercury, and other contaminants. Salmon oil and Cod Liver oil are 2 good sources we carry in our office to meet the needs. We have seen great results in many areas of health by meeting the bodies craving for balance.
May you find your balance as well.