There are three different types of fatty acids you can get from food: omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9. These fatty acids are crucial to cardiovascular health, brain function, and supporting many of your body’s systems. Let’s take a quick look at the differences and what foods can provide you with each.
An essential fatty acid that the human body cannot produce. It must be acquired through food. The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish at least twice a week to get your omega-3s, but there are also plant sources.
Foods: salmon, mackerel, herring, chia seeds, flax seeds, seaweed, broccoli, spinach, kale.
Another essential fatty acid that the human body cannot produce. While it is essential, omega-6 has pro-inflammatory properties, so mind the amounts you take in. Ideally you want an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 2:1, but because of fast/processed foods, most Americans are at a ratio of 15:1.
Foods: vegetable oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, olive oil, red meat, poultry.
Also known as monounsaturated fatty acid,the human body is capable of producing omega-9 when it has enough omega-3 or omega-6 present, but it’s still beneficial when consumed. Omega-9 can help good cholesterol levels.
Foods: avocado, almonds, cashews, pecans.
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