Omega-3 and omega-6: what you must know | Daily Spoon

Omega-3 and omega-6: what you must know

Mar 22, 2021

Omega, the final letter of the Greek alphabet, is often used to represent the last of something, but when we are talking about dietary fats, omega represents a healthy beginning. Why? Many sources claim that polyunsaturated fats, omega-3 and omega-6, are essential for our hearts and bodies. 

Omega-3 and omega-6 are essential fatty acids (EFAs) that the body needs but cannot produce on its own so it is important to know what kind of food contains these nutritions. Also, what kind of benefits have these fatty acids exactly and how do they differentiate? 


Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are responsible for numerous cellular functions, they regulate blood pressure, nervous system, glucose tolerance. They ease inflammation and help to avoid many heart diseases. Also, they have a positive effect for our brain activity and eyesight.

Health specialists say every individual should take two meals a week of fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, or herring. In this case, if you are healthy and at low risk of heart diseases, you will reach a great amount of omega-3 in your body and you will not have to take extra omega-3 supplements. However, people who do not eat fish, should search for other sources of omega-3 such as eggs, walnuts, spinach, seaweed, chia seeds.

Omega-3 and omega-6 are essential fatty acids (EFAs) that the body needs but cannot produce itself.

Omega-6 fats are found in vegetable oils, nuts or pumpkin seeds and these fats are also beneficial. Although opinions about the benefits of omega-6 are quite controversial, it is essential to keep in mind that proper supply of omega-6 is necessary for our bodies. Many studies claim that it could reduce harmful cholesterol and help maintain blood sugar levels.

However, these fats are common in processed foods such as fast and fried foods. These days we are living with a tight schedule and we are always in a hurry so it is usual that many people eat these kinds of foods often. Hence, it is really important to pay attention to what scientists say about a perfect supply of these fats. Studies claim that consuming too many omega-6 fats could lead to certain health problems. Therefore, on purpose for the best results and for a great amount of every nutrition, it is recommended to limit saturated fats for 6% to 10% of every individual’s daily calories.
Which foods contain the most of polyunsaturated fats? 

Omega-3 tuna, salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, trout, anchovies, shrimp, eggs, walnuts, spinach, avocado, seaweed, chia seeds, brussels sprouts, edamame
Omega-6 vegetables oils, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, leafy green vegetables

The balance of omega-3 and omega-6

Many individuals eat more omega-6 than omega-3. The main key for a balanced nourishment is to lower the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. Experts claim that, for example, many Americans’ ratio is 16:1 while the ideal ratio is 4:1. 

It should be noted that some foods with the highest omega-6 rate, contain little to no omega-3. So if a person eats a lot of these foods, he or she should balance fatty acids and eat more products with omega-3. Do not cut all of the healthy omega-6 fats from your daily food. It is more beneficial to add some extra omega-3. 

Tips for a balance of omega-3 and omega-6:

  • It is recommended to include 2 meals of fat fish.
  • Include extra omega-3 to your daily food routine such as chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts.
  • Try to avoid fried and fast food. Instead, choose various seeds, nuts and vegetable oils.
  • Consider using vegetable oil as your main cooking oil.
  • Try not to cut omega-6 from your daily ration.
  • If you want to improve your daily omega-3 intake Daily Spoon could help – try superfoods blend for Gut Bliss which contains omega-3 fatty acids.


Harvard Health Publishing, ,,Should you be taking an omega-3 supplement?”, 2019.

Medical News Today, ,,What to know about omega-6 fatty acids”, 2020.

Gammone, M. A., Riccioni, G., Parrinello, G., & D’Orazio, N., ,,Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Benefits and Endpoints in Sport”, 2018.

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