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Omega-3 vs. Omega-6 Fatty Acids

There's a lot of talk about omega-3 fatty acids and how they are the good fat, but have you heard about omega-6's? Both are essential for human health, but the typical American consumes far too many omega-6 fats and not enough omega-3 fats.

The primary sources of omega-6 are corn oil, soy oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil. You should try to limit your use of these oils.

Omega-3 is found in flax seed oil, cod liver oil, walnut oil, and fatty fish like mackerel, lake trout, albacore tuna and salmon. Fish are the best sources because they are high in two particular fatty acids that are crucial to good health, DHA (docosohexanoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). These two fatty acids are pivotal in preventing heart disease and cancer. The human brain is also highly dependent on DHA. Low DHA levels have been linked to depression, schizophrenia, memory loss, and a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's.

So get your fill of Omega-3's and try to limit your Omega-6's.

Fit's Tips: An easy way to get some extra Omega-3 in your day is to add a little flax seed oil to your salad. It's got a light nutty flavor, so it will go well with your favorite salad dressing. Just make sure you keep it refrigerated since it can go rancid if you don't. Flax seed oil also comes in easy to swallow capsules.

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