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Good Lipids

Omega-3 Lipids:Omega-6 Lipids
Essential Fatty Acid: ALA (plant source) & EPA & DHA(animal) : Essential Fatty Acid: Cis linoleic acid (Cis-LA)
Optimum ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 lipids is 1 : 1
OK ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 lipids is 1 : 4
2002 American ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 lipids is 1 : 20
Typical American teen ratio is 1 : 30

Foods containing Omega-3 lipids:
  • Greens
  • Canola Oil (use organic, cold-pressed, non-GMO)
  • Deep Sea Cold Water Fish (sardines are lowest in mercury)
  • Flax - which is 50% oil
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Pumpkin Seeds (also rich in zinc)
  • Breast Milk (from mothers who eat omega-3-rich foods)
  • Insect Grubs
  • Bone Marrow
  • Purslane (the weed)
Foods containing Omega-6 lipids (cut back on these!):
  • Safflower Oil (70% omega-6s)
  • Sunflower Oil (60%)
  • Corn Oil (60%)
  • Cottonseed Oil (50%, also very high in pesticide residue)
  • Coconut Oil (only 10% omega-6, it's almost neutral)
  • Olive Oil (only 10%, it's almost neutral)

It's not that omega-6s are bad for us, but we get so many of them in our modern corn-oil-loaded diet that it's wise to cut back so that your ratio of 3s:6s gets closer to the evolutionary ideal.

Bad Lipids

Hydrogenated and trans fats replace good lipids in cells if omega-3s are missing in the diet.As of 2006, trans fats must finally be listed on food package nutrition labels. Therefore, to avoid the embarrassment of including harmful ingredients, many food corporations are desperately seeking alternative oils that do NOT contain trans fats, such as palm oil, but still give a tasty, crispy product. Until that change is made, however, these products typically contain hydrogenated fats and, therefore, the harmful trans fats:

* Only animal and algael sources have EPA and DHA. One would have to eat 1-2 pounds of fish per day to get all the EPA and DHA needed, while government recommendations advise limiting fish to once a week in order to avoid excess consumption of dioxin and mercury. (Also, farmed salmon are much lower in omega-3s because they are fed corn-based feed; plus fish farming is environmentally destructive because the uneaten feed coats the ocean bottom, blocking normal biological activity). Therefore, omega-3 researchers suggest taking molecular distilled fish oil in capsules. Good news if you like eggs: hens fed algae have eggs 20 times higher in omega-3s than regular eggs from hens eating a corn-based feed.

Alternatively, one can take high-omega-3 flax or hemp oil as a supplement. The problem with vegetable sources of omega-3s is that there is a cascade of biological transformation to get from ALA (plant source) to DHA and EPA (animal source) that require B6, B3 (niacin), zinc and magnesium as well as optimum health to produce certain enzymes (mostly delta-6-desaturase). Nevertheless, the many other health benefits from taking flax meal justify making it a daily habit along with omega-3 capsules: the lignans and antioxidants gently "scrub" the intestinal track and protect volatile essential fatty acids (EFAs) which, despite not having a recommended daily allowance (RDA), must be in our diet because we cannot make them internally.


Lauren Ayers

James Curiel, PhD
Professor, Sociology

Don Glines
Educational Futures

Hasan Hanks

Jeanie Keltner, PhD
Editor, Because People Matter

Michael J. Kwiker, D.O.

William Mora, M.D.
Health Associates Medical Group

Susan Montoya

Cynthia Mulcaire

Carlina Nowrocki

Robert O’Brien, MA

Suiying Saechao
Member LEAF at Hiram Johnson HS

Charity Smith
President Youth Congress at Sac High