There’s a good reason why nutritionists consider omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to be “essential” acids. These polyunsaturated fats, which are responsible for building cells and maintaining nerve and brain function, cannot be manufactured by our bodies. This means that we must obtain them from food sources in order to remain healthy.
Unfortunately, since the advent of processed vegetable and seed oils, the average Westerner consumes far more omega-6 acids than omega-3 acids. In fact, the average ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 acid intake in the West is estimated to be 16:1, which is much higher than the optimum ratio of between 1:1 and 4:1. Since omega-6 acids contain pro-inflammatory properties, this severe imbalance can cause a large number of related health problems such as cardiovascular disease. Therefore, it’s important that we maintain an optimum omega-3 to omega-6 acid ratio at all times.