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The Unspoken Truth about Vegetable Oil Health Risks

Aug 10, 2008
The diets of most North Americans and Europeans have dramatically changed over the last thirty years. Refined vegetable oil, specifically soybean oil, is now being used in most snack foods, breads, sweets, and processed foods to such an extent approximately 20% of the total caloric intake is estimated to come from this source alone.

Why is this so dangerous for our health?

Refined vegetable oil, like soybean oil, is an omega 6 fatty acid. Our body needs fats to survive, but many nutritional experts believe that to achieve optimal health humans need to balance their fat intake between omega 6 fatty acids, derived from seeds and nuts, and omega 3 fatty acids, primarily found in the fat of cold water fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, and mackerel. Today instead of a 1:1 balanced intake of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids, most western diets consume between a 10:1 to a 50:1 ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids. Changing that ratio is the best thing we can do to change the future of our health today.

Increased omega 6 intake can be attributed to obesity, depression, hyperactivity, and possibly even violence. Omega 6 fatty acids increase inflammation at the cellular level, which may explain the rise in hypertension, heart disease, certain types of cancers, asthma, and cognitive degenerative diseases. Omega 3 fatty acids on the other hand are precursors for anti-inflammation agents and help counterbalance the negative effects from the high levels of omega 6 fats we consume every day in our diets.

Omega 3 is a type of essential fatty acids and our bodies do make them on our own. We have to obtain the necessary amounts from our diets. However, since the chief source of omega 3 fatty acids is cold water fish, the average person would need to consume approximately four pounds of fresh fish per day to receive the same health benefits from two grams of a superior omega 3 fish oil supplement.

Simple changes to our diets to reduce our omega 6 fatty acid intake may be difficult due to the wide ranging use of soybean oils in processed foods. The best bet to reduce your omega 6 fatty acid intake is to avoid processed foods in favor of freshly prepared meals. Increase your fish intake and start taking a superior omega 3 fish oil supplement to help balance your bodies need for essential fatty acids.
About the Author
JC McDowell is the editor of BEST HEALTH TODAY an online health and wellness newsletter.
Daily health tips inform and engage readers on current health topics.
Find out how a superior omega 3 fish oil can keep you healthy and active at
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