The Ratio Of Omega-6 to Omega-3 Fatty Acids Is Critical For Healthy Weight Loss, Heart Disease & Cancer Prevention!

Today’s article is a follow-up on yesterday’s discussion about the importance of omega-3’s. If you recall in that article, I stated omega-3’s are an “essential fat” most of us aren’t getting enough of through our diet. More precisely, it’s the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats that has become increasingly out of whack over the past several decades that’s putting us at increased risk of obesity, heart disease, and certain cancers.

Let me explain. Our ancestors used to get a lot of omega-3’s through a diet that was rich in animal fats, namely fish. It’s believed the optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats is around 4 to 1 (4:1). Currently, the average American is getting far too much omega-6 fats due to the overwhelming amount of processed foods we consume. Vegetable oil (soybean oil) is one of the primary reasons we’re getting a huge surplus of omega-6 in our diets, so much so that the average American’s ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is now around 25:1, more than 6x the historically healthy ratio!

Here’s what’s interesting— some of the very same ailments made worse by an overconsumption of omega-6, such as chronic inflammation, are made better by the consumption of omega-3 fats. While it’s true that inflammation is essential for our survival because it helps protect our body from infection and injury, it can also cause severe damage and contribute to disease when it’s chronic or excessive.

In fact, chronic inflammation may be one of the leading drivers of the most serious modern diseases, including heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and many types of cancer.

Scientists have hypothesized that a diet high in omega-6s but low in omega-3s increases inflammation, while a diet that includes balanced amounts of each reduces inflammation.

Those who follow a typical Western diet are eating way too much omega-6s relative to omega-3s. Many believe this is a serious health problem. For example, in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, a ratio of 4:1 was associated with a 70% decrease in total mortality. Read that again! A 70% reduction in mortality!

The lower omega-6/omega-3 ratio in women with breast cancer was associated with decreased risk. A ratio of 2 or 3:1 suppressed inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and a ratio of 5:1 had a beneficial effect on patients with asthma, whereas a ratio of 10:1 had adverse consequences. These studies indicate that the optimal ratio may vary with the disease under consideration.

What isn’t questioned is that regardless of disease examined, lowering the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats significantly reduced health implications.


The studies are pretty compelling— reduce your consumption of omega-6 fats by reducing your consumption of processed foods and increase your consumption of essential omega-3 fats by eating more fatty fish, walnuts, chia seed, flaxseed, or other omega-3 fortified foods.

For more information:…/omega-6-omega-3-ratio-and-you…/


Developed by Kathryn Scarlata, RDN

Serves 6


1 1⁄4 cup frozen wild blueberries
1 1⁄2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract*


In small saucepan over medium heat, add blueberries and maple syrup. Stir and cook the blueberry mixture for 10 minutes. Use a potato masher to mash blueberries.

Next, add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and continue to cook and stir for about 2 to 3 minutes or until blueberry mixture resembles a jam consistency.

Remove from heat and blend in vanilla extract.

Refrigerate and use within a week.

*Fresh, minced ginger or lemon juice also work well as flavoring agents in this jam.

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