Omega 3 Fat Deficiency Linked To Obesity

Not eating enough of the right fats makes you more prone to gaining weight. Especially if you eat too much omega 6 fat.

Fat is a bit of a controversial topic. Gone are the days when experts promoted low fat diets as the best way to slim down and get healthy. We now know that specific fats are very important for good health and overall wellbeing. These days many people follow a high fat low carb diet as a way to lose weight and manage type 2 diabetes. This can be very effective, but it’s important to know which specific fats you should be eating.

A new study published in the journal Nutrients has shown that an increase in the omega 6 to omega 3 ratio in your body raises your risk of obesity. Omega 3 fats and omega 6 fats are both polyunsaturated fats. You need both of them in your diet. During human evolution, our intake of omega 6 to omega 3 fats was roughly in a 1:1 ratio. With modern diets this ratio has changed dramatically. Many people now consume them in a ratio of 20:1 or higher. This is a problem because when eaten in excess, omega 6 fats promote inflammation and weight gain.

Several studies have shown an increase in the risk of obesity as the level of omega 6 fats and the omega 6 to omega 3 ratio increase in red blood cell membrane phospholipids. Conversely a high level of omega 3 fats in membrane phospholipids reduce the risk of obesity.

Where are omega 3 fats found? In seafood (especially oily, deep sea fish that is wild rather than farmed), certain species of algae, walnuts, pecans, chia seeds and flaxseeds. Eating more of these foods, or taking a supplement can reduce inflammation in your body in a way that favorably influences your metabolism.

You would need to limit your intake of omega 6 fats at the same time if you want to reap the benefits. These fats are found in commonly used vegetable oils such as canola, soybean oil, rice bran oil, sunflower, safflower, grapeseed and cottonseed oil. Most margarine is high in these fats. If you eat processed food that came from a factory, you are likely consuming a lot of these fats. This is a good reason to try and prepare most of your meals at home. Restaurants tend to use omega 6 rich fats, therefore if you eat out a lot you probably consume quite a bit of them.

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