WHY SHOULD YOU INCREASE OMEGA-3’S IN PREGNANCY?
Children with high proportions of poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s) in cord blood at birth are more likely to develop respiratory and skin allergies in their early teens, according to research published in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Malin Barman and colleagues from the Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
PUFA’s compete with Omega-3 Fatty Acids for absorption and increase the body’s Vitamin A requirements.
PUFA’s can increase the risk of pre-eclampsia in pregnancy
PUFA’s can also increase the risk of depression, increased inflammation, weight gain and diabetes, memory problems and dyslexia.
WHY DO WE NOW HAVE AN IMBALANCE OF OMEGA-3 AND OMEGA-6
Anthropological evidence suggests that our hunter-gatherer ancestors maintained an omega-6 omega-3 ratio of about 2:1, which is very different than today’s Western diet where omega-6 omega-3 ratios of 15:1 are more typical.
This major shift is the result of changes to both our food supply and our food choices. Our consumption of omega-3 rich fish and grass fed beef has declined; while our consumption of foods made with ingredients containing high levels of omega-6 has increased.
FOODS CONTRIBUTING TO A SHIFT IN OMEGA-6 OMEGA-3 RATIOS
Foods high in omega 6’s include:
- Fried and other processed foods made with large amounts of vegetable oil
- Especially soybean oil, corn oil and cottonseed oil
- Salad oils and margarines
- Meat from grain fed animals
Omega-6 popular ingredient for processed foods because it is very inexpensive and stable making it easy to formulate into long-shelf life foods.
SOURCES OF OMEGA-3
- Fish – oily deep sea, krill
- Oils – flaxseed oil, perilla oil, walnut oil
- Seaweeds, algae
- Raw nuts and seeds, such as fresh organic flax seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and English walnuts
Your primary sources for both omega-3 and omega-6 fats should be organic, unrefined oils such as olive oil and avocado oil, raw milk and butter, free-range eggs, grass pastured beef, and whole seeds.