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Omega 3 or Omega 6: Benefits and Balance

Have you ever wondered which fatty acids are best for your well-being? Two contenders compete for the title, but... omega 3 or omega 6, which should you prioritize? In what proportions and for what benefits?

That’s what we’ll explore in this article!

Omega 3 and Omega 6: What’s the Difference?

Omega 3 and omega 6 are both essential fatty acids, meaning our bodies cannot produce them. We must obtain them through our diet.

Omega 3, found in fatty fish, nuts, and flaxseeds, play a crucial role in heart and brain function. They are divided into three categories with delightful names: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Still with me? 😀

On the other hand, omega 6s are divided into six fatty acids, with the smallest and precursor of the others known as linoleic acid. They are found in vegetable oils like sunflower and corn and are important for our body’s proper functioning.

A delicate balance between these two fatty acids is essential to maintain overall well-being... a balance rarely maintained, as we shall see!

omega 3 and omega 6

The Benefits of Omega 3

Before examining the balance between omega 3 and omega 6, let’s look at their respective benefits.

First, omega 3s. Here are several reasons why omega 3s deserve a place in our daily diet:

  1. Omega 3s, particularly DHA and EPA, contribute to normal heart function;

  2. They also help maintain normal blood pressure and regulate triglyceride levels in the blood;

  3. DHA is also beneficial for vision;

  4. During pregnancy, docosahexaenoic acid also supports the baby’s brain development and helps maintain focus and alertness due to its positive effects on cognition;

  5. Finally, ALA, the third member of the family, helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels, which is beneficial for heart health and overall well-being.

As you can see, consuming omega 3s is quite beneficial. However, does this make omega 6s irrelevant? No, as you will see.

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The Benefits of Omega 6

Although our intake of omega 6 is often much higher than that of omega 3, they are still beneficial for our cardiovascular system. Linoleic acid, found in omega 6, plays a role in maintaining normal cholesterol levels.

By keeping our cholesterol levels within healthy limits, omega 6 helps protect our heart and blood vessels from the risks associated with high cholesterol.

So, it’s not about eliminating omega 6, but better proportioning them relative to omega 3. Let’s take a closer look...👀

Recommended Dosages for Omega 3 and 6

Omega 3 or omega 6: it’s all about balance, as is often the case with the fine machinery that is the human body!

For omega 3, it is recommended to consume 250 milligrams of EPA and DHA (each) daily, and 2 to 2.5 grams of ALA. As for omega 6, the recommended daily intake of linoleic acid is about 10 grams per day.

As with any overconsumption, too much omega 6 is harmful to the body. Overconsumption of omega 3, although much less likely, also presents risks to the body.

In short, maintaining a proper balance between omega 3 and omega 6 is important for overall body function. Given that our modern diet often leads to the opposite, let’s see how we can reverse this trend!

omega 3 good for the heart

Tips for Balancing Omega 3 and Omega 6 in Your Diet

Here are some practical tips to follow to maintain a healthy balance between omega 3 and omega 6 in your diet.

First, prioritize sources of omega 3 such as fatty fish, flaxseeds, nuts, and flaxseed and hemp oils. Reduce your intake of omega 6 by limiting processed foods rich in vegetable oils like corn, soy, and sunflower. Opt for healthier sources of omega 6, such as olive oil and avocado. 🥑

Need concrete ideas? No problem! Here are three well-balanced recipes that will help you avoid choosing between omega 3 or omega 6:

  1. Avocado and Shrimp Salad: mix cooked shrimp with diced avocados, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped fresh cilantro, and lemon juice. Season with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

  2. Trout Fillet with Lemon and Herbs: season trout fillets with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and fresh herbs such as thyme or dill. Cook in the oven or pan until the fish is tender.

  3. Chia Seed and Berry Smoothie: blend frozen berries with almond milk and chia seeds. Let sit in the fridge for a few hours so the chia seeds can swell and thicken the smoothie.

A Boost with Dietary Supplements

Dietary supplements can be a valuable boost to enrich your diet with omega 3 (which is generally too low).

Before choosing a supplement, however, you should consider certain criteria we have listed in our article: What is the Best Omega 3? Overall, focus on quality rather than price. Look for labels on products that guarantee their purity, origin, and effectiveness. When choosing an omega 3 supplement, make sure it is free of contaminants, formulated with natural and sustainable sources, and well-dosed and balanced!

Our Epax® Omega 3 is made from Friend of the Sea® certified fish oil, respecting biodiversity and providing an optimal balance of fatty acids, with 40% EPA and 30% DHA.

Whatever your choice, consult a professional before taking any dietary supplement that would be added to a medication, and avoid supplementing with omega 3 or omega 6 if you are taking blood thinners.

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Balanced Fatty Acids for Enhanced Well-Being

In summary, balancing the intake of omega 3 and omega 6 is essential for overall well-being. By modifying your dietary habits and choosing a suitable omega 3 supplement if necessary, you will maximize the benefits of these essential fatty acids! 💪


Co-founder of NOVOMA

Passionate and an expert in micro-nutrition, Lucas founded Novoma in 2012. With conviction, he develops dietary supplements with effective, carefully selected, and 100% clean ingredients to best meet the needs of the body.

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