Digestive Health

Are all Omega foods the same: Omega 3 vs Omega 6

Put simply – no. Not all foods claiming to contain sources of Omega are the same, and can each have different effects on your body if you suffer with IBS.

The world over, we’re told that Omega 3 foods are good for you. They’re full of the good fatty acids you need to regulate blood clotting, build cell membranes and support cell health, just to name a few benefits.


It’s also polyunsaturated, which is a heart-healthy type of fat that help reduce blood triglycerides (fats) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the so-called bad cholesterol.

Omega-3 also curbs inflammation. So IBS sufferers might notice their symptoms are dramatically reduced when you eat good oily fish dishes.

However, there are a whole range of Omegas on the market, and not all of them do as much as Omega 3. In fact, some can be a lot more unhealthy than they first let on, and are also proven to trigger flare-ups in IBS sufferers.

For instance, Omega 6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory, meaning they are a hot source for irritating your abdominal tract after eating.Unfortunately, Omega 6’s are much easier to come by in your weekly shop and aren’t promoted half as much on brand packaging (as you’d expect) as Omega 3 foods. This has led to most people eating about 30-40 times more Omega 6s than Omega 3s.

Typical Omega 6 foods you’re likely to have lying about your house are:

  • sunflower and vegetable oils
  • cereals
  • poultry
  • wholegrain breads
  • nuts

Excess Omega 6 fatty acids from oils, for instance, interfere with the health benefits of Omega 3 fats, as they’re essentially both competing for the same rate-limiting enzymes. A high proportion of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fat in the diet shifts the physiological state in the tissues and can lead towards the pathogenesis of many diseases.

Ideally, cutting down on Omega 6s are replacing them with Omega 3 is a great digestive health decision. And what’s best, it may even mean you no longer need to cut out all wheat or all grains, just the types with the highest levels of Omega 6!

You can get more information here – http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/5-foods-high-in-omega-3.htm#page=1

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