The Omega Fats Balancing Act

Up until around 100 years ago, for most of human history in fact, our ancestors consumed a diet that was roughly 2 parts Omega-6 fats from meat and oils to 1 part Omega-3 fats from plants and fish. Today, the ratio is more like 10 to 1. That's important because the typical Western meat and potatoes diet is believed to increase the risk of inflammation which can lead to a number of serious health conditions including asthma, allergies, diabetes and arthritis.

To test this theory, scientists had 27 healthy subjects stick with a controlled diet that was built around the 2:1 Omega fat ratios early humans fed on. After just 5 weeks, signaling genes for inflammation were dramatically reduced. This research, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, was the first to demonstrate a link between essential fatty acids and gene expression.

The Bigger Picture: It's often been said that we are what we eat. Despite the complexity and intelligence of modern humans, the challenge of eating healthy on a consistent basis is anything but easy. You have to count calories, avoid saturated fat, watch your sugar and salt intake. Or you could simply shop the perimeter of your local grocery, choosing only fresh means, fruits and vegetables. Sometimes the easiest solution's the best.
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