Balancing Omega Fatty Acids: 3, 6, and 9

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Balance is so important to Culinary Alchemy™ and to bringing joy to your everyday life.

That’s why I thought we could talk a little bit about the Omega fatty acids family today. By looking at their differences and knowing which foods carry Omega fatty acids, we can start to find the balance that works best for you!

The Basics: Health Properties and Benefits of Omega Fatty Acids

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The most commonly known fatty acids, Omega-3’s:

  • Are polyunsaturated fats

  • Are “essential fats” meaning it’s essential to include in your diet

  • Have anti-inflammatory properties

As an essential part of human cell membranes, these fatty acids really can do wonders for your energy and brain function. 

What’s great about this Omega fatty acid family is that they have so many wonderful health benefits for women of all ages! It’s been known to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and the symptoms of asthma from an early age.

One way these fatty acids help fight chronic diseases is by boosting the amount of “good” HDL cholesterol in your body which will help you fight off the bad cholesterol. So, it is a fighter!

Also, did you know that Omega-3’s are a good mood booster? They are known to help alleviate symptoms associated with mental health issues like depression, bipolar disorder, and even schizophrenia.

Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Another “essential” fatty acids group, Omega-6’s:

  • Are polyunsaturated fats

  • Are “essential fats” meaning it’s essential to include in your diet

  • Have pro-inflammatory properties

I know what you may be thinking--”Don’t we want to reduce inflammation in our bodies?”

Remember! It’s all about balance in your diet. Omega-6’s pro-inflammatory properties are essential to your immune system and have been considered an important part of fetal and infant brain development.

Just be aware of how much you intake. The Western diet already has a good amount of Omega-6 fatty acids in it since it is in foods like mayonnaise and oil-fried foods, so there is no need to take supplements with Omega-6 except in rare cases.

Omega-9 Fatty Acids

And last, but certainly not least, Omega-9’s:

  • Are monounsaturated fats

  • Are “non-essential” meaning your body can synthesize these naturally

  • Can support muscle growth when balanced

This is a great fatty acid that few people talk about. Medical experts believe it can improve insulin sensitivity and decrease inflammation and the “bad” cholesterol in your body, meaning your heart will be less at risk in the long-run.

Striking a balance between these three fatty acids may seem like a math equation. For Americans, it is generally best to lower your Omega-6 intake and shoot for including Omega-3 and Omega-9 into your weekly eating habits.

How to Include Omega’s into Your Diet Regimen

We are all on the go, and as someone who stays pretty busy, I know it can be hard to change your diet yet once again!

Fear not. You are most likely consuming these already in your diet.

Here’s a quick reference of common foods that carry Omega-3 fatty acids:

  • Salmon

  • Mackerel

  • Oysters

  • Chia Seeds

  • Spinach

  • Brussel Sprouts

Omega-6 is found in a lot of seeds and nuts such as flaxseeds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Yes! Remember that the Western diet does already provide a significant portion of Omega-6 fatty acids.

You can easily reduce this by switching out mayo-based dressings for an olive-oil based one with and a squeeze of lemon for a fresh, healthier, and balanced meal! Also, try cooking with olive oil, which is high in

Omega-9 fatty acids, instead of veggie oil. If you want to switch it up, you can use sesame oil as a substitute.

I also get some of my Omega-9 from avocados, almonds, and cashews.

I know not everyone likes the taste of fish, which is why Omega-3 supplements are pretty popular. Just be sure to check the label and identify if the brand monitors and filters out as much mercury and other metals found in fish as possible. You should not need to worry about taking supplements for Omega’s 6 and 9.

 
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Balance: The Key to Any Diet

In the end, plant-based oils and nuts and seeds are where you can really improve your Omega fatty acids intake starting today!

I want you to be healthy so your true self can shine. Like all parts of nutritional healing, intentional balance is key for your mental, emotional, and physical health. Check out the rest of my website, www.serenapoon.com for more tips and join me in finding harmony.

Have a healthy day!

XO - Serena