In only two to three generations our diet has changed dramatically. What used to be a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, fish and wild meat and eggs is now a diet dominated by omega-6 rich cereals, milk-, egg- and industrialized meat products.
This change in the nutrient composition of our diet happened so fast that our digestive system and body biochemistry had not enough time to adjust accordingly. The consequence is a steadily growing number of people suffering from “civilization diseases” such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis, dermatitis, allergies, dementia, depression, certain types of cancer, behaviour disorders, and many more. The vast majority of these people have in common that their body tissue lacks omega-3 fatty acids and have far too many pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats (arachidonic acis, ARA)accumulated. The important natural balance between omega-6 and omega-3 is out of whack … As our bodies cannot make their own omega-6 nor omega-3 (both belong to the essential fats) we need to correct this unhealthy situation by adjusting our diet accordingly. We need to eat less omega-6 and increase your daily omega-3 (EPA and DHA) intakte.
We need a balanced omega-3 to omega-6 fat ratio in our diet to stay healthy
Our diet has changed dramatically during the last 100 years. During our entire evolution our body was used to a diet rich in vegetables, fruit and wild meat/fish. omega-6 and omega-3 fats in our diet used to be in balance (approximately 1:1). Also the ratio between saturated fats and polyunsaturated fats used to be in balance. It is interesting to note that the fat composition in wild animals and wild eggs still today are in balance just as they used to be during the last 100.000 years and more. And today? We ingest a much more fatty diet than before and this diet is unfortunately dominated by the unhealthy saturated fats. With the industrialization our diet changed to be more dominated by cereal-based products, generally very rich in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. Additionally our meat, dairy products and eggs comes now from commercial driven farms which feed the animals a high energy feed based on corn-, sunflower seeds and soy products. All very rich in omega-6 but basically without any long chain omega-3 fatty acids, i.e. EPA or DHA. Consequently the meat, milk and eggs we consume contain up to 20-times more pro-inflammatory omega-6 (especially Arachidonic acid, AA) than anti-inflammatory omega-3 (EPA and DHA). With other words, we ingest every day much more saturated fats and pro-inflammatory fatty acids than is good for us. The result is a continuous increase in chronic inflammation diseases like arteriosclerosis, arthritis, asthma, dermatitis, psoriasis, allergies, certain types of cancer and many more. Recent studies strongly indicate that this dietary imbalance is also one of the major causes for the increasing number of people suffering from mental disorders, lack of attention, depression and dementia.
6 golden rules for your health
It is not very likely that we can turn back the industrial production mode of our diet but we can influence the balance between the different fats in our diet by following these simple rules:
- Limit your consumption of red meat and meat products
- Chose eggs, milk and dairy products from farmers that keep their animals on the meadows.
- Reduce your consumption of butter and sunflower oil. Use more native olive oil.
- Eat at least 2 fatty fish (sardine, anchovy, salmon, tuna, mackerels, …) dishes a week.
- Eat more vegetables and fruit.
- Take regularly a high quality and concentrated omega-3 supplement.
NOTE: it takes about 6-8 weeks after you have started to follow above 6 rules until you will see first positive results. Be patient – it’s really worth it! However, be aware that it also takes only 6 weeks to lose again all beneficial effects coming from an omega-3 rich diet. With other words, try to change your eating habits for the very long term following the above rules and your body and mind will benefit from it.