If you think all fats are bad, think again! The essential fatty acids, omega-6 and the omega-3s (ALA, DHA and EPA), are essential to human health. Research suggests that the best way to get essential fatty acids is from our diet and supplements. EPA and DHA, considered the most crucial omega-3s, are found primarily in certain types of fishes.
DHA is a key component of nerve cell membranes, is key to retinal health, and may help support a healthy mood. EPA is most associated with a healthy cardiovascular system. Together they support healthy heart function and are associated with long, healthy lives.
It has been suggested that the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in the diet should be 2:1 or even 1:1 to help the body maintain long-term health. Surveys suggest that the ratio in the typical American diet is anywhere from is 10:1 to 25:1. Cutting down on omega-6 EFAs found in corn, sunflower, safflower oil and meat can help lower this ratio. Increasing our omega-3 EFAs by adding fish, walnuts, chia or flaxseeds to our diets, or supplementing with omega -3s, are also positive steps we can take to help lower this ratio.