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Health advisory: omega-6 fatty acids help the heart

January 30, 2009 by  

Omega-6 can be found in nutsA new study highlights the benefits of natural foods, while another finds link between processed meat and serious health risks.

Omega-6 fatty acids – which can be found in nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils – have a beneficial impact on the heart and should be a part of a healthy diet, according to a recent advisory from the American Heart Association.

According to the association, numerous studies have indicated that replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fatty acids, of which omega-6 is one type, lowers the risk of heart disease by 24 percent.

That is because "[w]hen saturated fat in the diet is replaced by omega-6, the blood cholesterol levels go down," explains Dr. William Harris, director of the Metabolism and Nutrition Research Center at the University of South Dakota.

This seems to underscore the value of eating natural foods – such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats – as opposed to processed products. Reuters news agency has reported on a new study by researchers at Harvard which links the consumption of processed meats such as hot dogs to a greater risk of leukemia in children.

The human body does not have the capacity to produce omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, but they play a crucial role in heart and brain function and in normal growth and development, concludes the AHA advisory.

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  • Bob Livingston

    The truth is that it is not Omega-6s but Omega-3s that help the heart. The American diet is so full already of Omega-6s. This is the reason we have a heart disease epidemic in America. What would you expect from the American Heart Association?

    Action needed is to do everything we can to replace Omega-6s with Omega-3s with a diet high in fish daily to restore our balance of Omega-3s and Omega-6s. Salmon is absolutely the best food source, along with sardines.

    My new favorite source for Omega-3 supplementation is “Super Krill-Omega3” from Health Resources. I’ve been taking this for 3-months now and I LOVE it. No fishy taste or aftertaste, it’s pure and toxin free and loaded to the gills with Omega-3s. Far superior to ordinary fish oil supplements and much more absorbable. http://www.healthresources.net/itemdy00.asp?t1=Super-Krill-Omega-3

    Bob

    • DaveW

      You’re right Bob! I read where we get so much of Omega 6 that it is detrimental to the body. The claim is that in our diets we are getting 11 to 16 parts of Omega 6. The ratio between Omega 3 and Omega 6 should ideally be a ratio of 1 to 1.

  • Klee Rogers

    I agree Krill oil is #1, no other fish oil comes close, it is more expensive, but well worth it. One thing, it must be Neptune Krill oil, not sure if “Super Krill-Omega3” is the same quality.

  • Steven Gregorich

    Every one should read “Know Your Fats” by Mary Enig PhD, she is a lipid biochemist. The “Food Nazi’s” want you to believe that saturated fats are bad for you. Saturated fats have been nourishing people for thousands of years, and now they’re bad for you?
    http://www.westonaprice.org

  • Matt

    Note that they REPLACED saturated fat with Omega-6. Was the reduction in cholesterol due to the reduction in saturated fat, or, was it due to the increase in Omega-6? I believe that the intent behind this and a lot of other food science studies these days is to create more “nutrients” to make health claims for processed foods. Processed foods already contain an overabundance of Omega-6s, but, they have a deficiency in Omega-3s because they’re less stable. By contrast, eating whole foods provides more of a balance of Omega-6 and Omega-3. Refined vegetable oils that are used to make snack foods have a lot of Omega-6. Won’t be long before marketers start making health claims for Fritos and Big Macs.

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