Strategies for Adjusting the Ratio
The first step to getting our omega ratios back on track is realizing the importance of a healthy ratio. The second step is to understand which products and dietary choices have the most impact on the ratio and how much we should consume.
List of Most Common Sources of Omega-6s
This list covers the products highest in total omega-6 fatty acid content. The figures are provided based on a 15g serving (about 1 tablespoon). However,many dressings and condiments depend on the use of many of these oils, and ingredients list should be examined.
Safflower Oil (Linoleic) – 11.2g
Grapeseed Oil – 10.4g
Sunflower Oil (Linoleic) – 9.9g
Poppyseed Oil – 9.4g
Vegetable Oil (USDA Low Fat) – 8.7g
Wheat Germ Oil – 8.2g
Corn Oil (Canola) – 8g
Walnut Oil – 7.9g
Mayonnaise (soybean and safflower oil) – 7.8g
Best Sources of Omega-3s
This list is mainly focused on EPA and DHA, a list of the top sources of ALA can be found earlier in this chapter (Different Types of Omega-3s). The following figures are based on a 3oz (85g) serving:
- Pacific Herring, Cooked – 1.06g EPA 0.75g DHA
- Chinook Salmon, Cooked – 0.86g EPA 0.62g DHA
- Atlantic Salmon, Cooked – 0.28g EPA 0.95g DHA
- Pacific Oysters, Cooked – 0.75g EPA 0.43g DHA
- Sockeye Salmon, Cooked – 0.45g EPA 0.60g DHA
- Rainbow Trout, Cooked – 0.40g EPA 0.44g DHA
- White Tuna, Canned – 0.20g EPA 0.54g DHA
A Few Final Words on How to Improve Our Ratio
Even though achieving a ratio of 1:1 is practically impossible and may not, in-fact, be that crucial for maintenance of health, moving closer to that ratio appears to be beneficial for correcting health issues (such as our skin). As the health condition resolves, it may be both financially and emotionally easier to ease our efforts to a more sustainable ratio. Which, most of the literature suggests to be in the area of 5:1 – 6:1.
The two biggest items towards a healthier ratio are:
- The avoidance of packaged foods containing oils (chips, granola bars, ready meals, and most packaged food in general)
- Removal of vegetable oils for the flavoring of our food (salads, marinades, dips)
Additional items to consider:
- Nuts and seeds contain high amounts of omega-6s
- Many candies use oil to stimulate a more pleasant mouth feel
- Much of the food at restaurants depends on cheap oils for preparation
Complete avoidance of items high in omega-6 fatty acids is typically not sustainable. The biggest changes should be made through focus on correcting consumption patterns rather than limiting them.