Avoiding Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Avoiding Omega-6 Fatty Acids – Yes, it would be possible to avoid all omega-6 fatty acids in a diet, but it would also leave you stuck with an extremely unhealthy and illness-producing diet. Linoleic acid (LA) is the starting point for production of all omega-6 fatty acids in the body, and our bodies cannot make LA. For this reason, it is well established as an essential fatty acid that cannot be omitted from the diet without dramatic and unwanted health consequences.
In addition to LA, there is a second omega-6 fatty acid that has been shown to have important health benefits, and that fatty acid is gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA clearly belongs in the anti-inflammatory category of fatty acids, and it plays a critical role in our health, particularly with respect to our immune and nervous systems. GLA also appears to be especially important for our health when we are still infants, and we can obtain it through breastfeeding.
In contrast to our clear need for LA as an essential omega-6 fatty acid, and for GLA as an anti-inflammatory omega-6, is our relatively high intake of other omega-6 fatty acids, especially in comparison to our intake of omega-3s. In the average U.S. diet, for example, we are taking in four times as much arachidonic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid designed to help increase inflammation) as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid designed to help decrease inflammation). We are also taking in twice as much arachidonic acid as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, another omega-3 that is not only anti-inflammatory but critical for optimal cell membrane and nervous system function).
The average U.S. diet that is extremely lopsided with respect to total fat and total saturated fat intake, and one that seems very low in omega-3s.
We should focus on reduction of saturated fat intake and improve our omega-6 and omega-3 balance. We could accomplish this task by eating less chicken fat and beef fat and egg yolks (where there is more concentration of the pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acid called arachidonic acid) and replacing those foods with wild-caught Pacific salmon, walnuts, flaxseeds, soy foods, and other plants that offer us reasonable amounts of omega-3s.
The author of the above article is in favor of reducing total fats in the diet, whereas we believe it is important to keep healthy fat content high. We believe the ketogenic nature of the Roman Diet, high in healthy fats, “right carbohydrates, and adequate protein, has contributed to the excellent blood sugar control of our two boys with type 1 diabetes. The problem in our opinion is not with total fat content in the diet but the unhealthy combination of high-glycemic, sugar-laden foods and unhealthy fats.
We think the goal should not be to remove all omega-6 fats from your diet, but rather to focus on increasing the omega-3 fats and other healthy fats, such as cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil, fats from avocados, nuts and some seeds.
There is a plethora of divergent opinions about nutrition and diabetes management. We believe the guidance we provide In this 131-page downloadable, printable e-publication will help you make more informed decisions for thriving health and optimal blood sugar control. We provide practical examples of select foods and how we believe they stack up for inclusion, exclusion or moderated use in the Roman Diet. Learn with us about healthy alternative sweeteners, fats and oils and why we limit animal products. We clear up the confusion surrounding healthy water choices, raw food versus cooked food, fermented food and whether or not phytates help or hinder health. To be informed is to be prepared!