Health Blog WellWise.org Unveils Tips to Improve the Omega 3 and Omega 6 Balance in Americans' Diets

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Finding the omega 3 / omega 6 balance by eating the right foods is essential to health. A new healthy eating guide can aid in reaching this balance.

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Dr. Lands is on what he calls his “final mission,” to convince Americans to “Nix the 6s and Eat the 3s.”

The typical American diet contains a dangerous imbalance of omega 3s and 6s. Wellwise.org has joined the campaign of Dr. Bill Lands, the world’s foremost authority on essential fatty acids, to give Americans healthier lifestyle choices by providing access to Dr. Lands’ extensive research on the omega 3 and omega 6 content in foods.

WellWise.org wants Americans to know that by getting under control the balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in their diet, they vastly improve their chances of enjoying good health. Having too many omega 6s in one's diet dramatically increases the risk of contracting asthma, coronary heart disease, many forms of cancer, autoimmunity or neurodegenerative diseases such as Alheimer's, and increases the likelihood of becoming obese, depressed, hyperactive or worse.

Dr. Bill Lands’ is the former Senior Scientific Advisor to the Director of the National Institutes of Health, has authored more than 250 papers on fatty acids, and was one of the world’s 1,000 most-cited scientists in 1965-1978.

He spent many years of his long career “preaching to the wrong choir,” as he puts it – insurance companies, government agencies, healthcare organizations. But he found that these profit-making industries had little interest in spreading information about preventing the health complications inherent in the typical American diet.

Now retired, Dr. Lands is on what he calls his “final mission,” to convince Americans to “Nix the 6s and Eat the 3s.”

Omega-3 (such as EPA and DHA) and omega-6 fatty acids (such as linoleic acid) are essential for good health as long as they are in balance. But the typical American diet is overloaded with omega-6s from commercial oils (such as safflower and corn oils), processed foods and animal feeds, causing this dangerous imbalance. The consequences: inflammation, the process that most researchers believe to be the basis of all disease.

Dr. Lands has created a comprehensive healthy eating guide by tapping the U. S. Department of Agriculture Nutrient Database, which quantifies the nutrients in thousands of foods. He has devised a simple plus-or-minus rating system for the omega 3 - omega 6 balance in cereals, breads and grains; vegetables; fruit; dairy and eggs; meats, fish and legumes; oils and sweets; and prepared foods.

Now these rankings allow anyone to understand what foods to emphasize to correct an omega 3 / omega-6 imbalance by simply checking the foods on a proposed grocery list against Dr. Lands' healthy eating guide, and adding up the numbers. The higher the total, the better in balance the diet will be.

The public can access Dr. Lands’ lists at the health blog website WellWise.org.

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James Townsend
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