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Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) - Linoleic Acid - Food Sources - Safflower Oil, Corn, Sesame, Hemp, Wheatgerm

Omega-6 Fats in Diet

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Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids

What is Omega-6 and What Foods Contain it?

Omega-6 (like omega-3) belongs to a family of fats called essential fatty acids (EFAs). These EFAs are found in polyunsaturated fats.

Linoleic Acid (LA)

The main type of omega-6 fatty acid is Linoleic Acid. This is the essential fatty acid in greatest supply. According to diet experts, our consumption of linoleic acid has doubled from what it was in 1940. Excess intake of omega 6 can cause increased water retention, raised blood pressure and increased risk of blood clotting. In comparison, our intake of omega 3 fatty acids has shrunk to one sixth of 1850 levels.

Eat Less Omega-6, More Omega-3

Omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids are best consumed in a ratio of about 3:1 meaning three grams of omega 6 for one gram of omega 3. However, the average Western diet provides between 10-20 grams of omega-6 to each gram of omega-3, which is not good for health.

Good Food Sources of Omega-6

The best dietary sources of omega-6 essential fats include:

- Safflower oil, the richest natural source
- Sunflower oil
- Corn oil
- Sesame oil
- Hemp oil (best balance of omega 6 to omega 3)
- Pumpkin oil
- Soybean oil
- Walnut oil
- Wheatgerm oil
- Evening Primrose oil

Optimum Intake of Omega-6 in Diet

Light, air and heat destroy EFAs like omega-6, so food processing and packaging methods are extremely important. Ideally, when buying dietary oils, choose mechanically processed oils in opaque glass containers. Also, since pesticides often concentrate in fats and oils, it is best to buy organic whenever possible.

Dietary Fat Resources

Best Fats in Diet
Best Cooking Oils
Recommended Daily Allowance for Fat in Diet
What are Essential Fatty Acids?
Health Benefits of Essential Fatty Acids
Omega-3 Fish Oils
Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids
What is Monounsaturated Fat?
What is Polyunsaturated Fat?
What is Saturated Fat?
What are Trans-Fats?
Questions About Cholesterol in Diet

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