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Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential, which means that your body cannot produce them on it’s own. The daily recommendation is 1.6 grams/day for men and 1.1 grams for women (for adults 19 years and over).

There are three major types of omega-3 fatty acids, which are Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

 

EPA and DHA are found in similar sources of food and ALA are found in different sources.

EPA: Helps reduce inflammation and depression

DHA: Very important for normal brain development and function.

  • Fatty fish - Salmon, Snapper ++.

ALA: Used for energy

  • Flaxseeds, walnuts, tofu, spinach ++.

 

Here are some examples of omega 3 sources:    

Salmon: 4 EPA and DHA

Mackerel: EPA and DHA

Sardines: EPA and DHA

Anchovies: EPA and DHA

Chia seeds: ALA

Walnuts: ALA

Flaxseeds: ALA

Avocado:  ALA

 

Importance of omega 3

Omega-6 fatty acids

 

Omega-6 fatty acids are also essential, but in Western diets, people tend to get too much of these. The ratio between omega 6 and 3 fatty acids should be 4:1 or lower. Adult men between 19 and 50 need 17 grams of omega-6 fats/day. Women between 19 and 50 need 12 grams of omega-6 fats/day.

Omega-6 is found in almost all vegetable oils and in several nuts. If the ratio gets too high, meaning you consume more than 4 times the amount of omega 6 compared to omega 3 - it can cause inflammation in your body. Since Western diets are high in vegetable oil (which is used in fast food), people should actually try to reduce their Omega 6 intake.


Sunflower oil: 10 grams/tablespoon

Corn oil: 8.8

Avocado oil: 4.4 grams

Walnuts: 9 grams/ 0.4-cup serving.

Brazil nuts and sesame seeds:  7 grams

 

Omega-9 fatty acids

 

Omega-9 fatty acids are not considered essential, because your body can produce them on its own. Note that they are produced from Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, so you need to get omega-9 through food if you do not get enough Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids through your diet. There is no need to take in too much Omega-9 for this reason, but replacing Omega 9 with other saturated fat might benefit you. Using Extra Virgin Olive Oil for cooking instead of other fats is a good option and will give you enough Omega-9.

 

! Important for immune system and reduction of inflammation

  • Almonds, Avocados, Chia seeds ++