5 Omega 6 Foods you Should Add to your Diet
Published by Dr. Venn-Watson
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson’s Highlights
- Omega-6 is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that helps blood clot, stimulates hair growth, and supports brain function.
- Foods that are high in omega-6 include walnuts, peanut butter, tofu, and eggs, and you can usually get enough of it through your foods.
- One fatty acid that you may not be getting enough of through your diet is C15:0, an odd-chain saturated fatty acid that supports cellular health. In this case, you can supplement your diet with a product like fatty15.
Although there’s been much debate over the health benefits of omega-6 fatty acids, the final accepted decision in the science community has been that they are essential and beneficial to our diets. Although we’ve spent the past 40 years avoiding all fat, saturated and unsaturated, popular culture is finally catching up with cutting edge science, and we’re learning that there’s a valid and quantifiable difference between “healthy” and “unhealthy” dietary fatty acids.
To accept this new take on fat, we’ve had to accept that fat is not our enemy. Eliminating fat from our diets was meant to help us avoid heart disease, but the fact is, not all fats are created equal, and some can actually help protect our heart, immune, and metabolic health.
The result of eliminating fat from our diets has been pretty unsettling. We’ve witnessed an entire generation raised on “low-fat” foods develop diseases like type 2 diabetes, obesity, liver disease, and even cardiovascular diseases.
As we begin to reintroduce fats to our diets, it’s important to understand what fats are, how they work, and how they can benefit our bodies. It’s also a great idea to find sources of healthy fats in our foods, so we can be more mindful of incorporating them into our diets.
What is Omega-6?
Omega-6 is a polyunsaturated fat, and one type, linoleic acid, is considered an essential fatty acid. An essential fatty acid is a compound that is required by the body to thrive, but cannot be made by the body. As such, we must get these types of fatty acids from our foods. There are four primary types of omega-6 fatty acids. They are:
- Linoleic acid (LA)
- Arachidonic Acid (ARA)
- Gamma linoleic (GLA)
- Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
Your body does different things with each of these types of omega-6 fatty acids, and not all of them have always been considered “healthy” for us. GLA and CLA, specifically, are considered beneficial to the diet and are potentially helpful in maintaining healthy body weight. And while ARA and it’s precursor, LA, were once thought to harm more than help your body, more recent studies have negated that belief.
What are the Benefits of Omega-6?
So we need omega-6, but why? Omega-6 is beneficial to our bodies and has multiple uses by our bodies’ most vital systems. Here are some of the most important reasons why your body needs omega-6 fatty acids.
- Brain function. Your brain needs healthy fatty acids to function. While the most important fatty acid for brain health is omega-3, your brain needs omega-6 as well.
- Normal health and development. Omega-6 helps support hormone health, which keeps your body growing, developing, and changing properly.
- Stimulation of hair and skin growth. Omega-6 helps support healthy skin and hair, and can even help alleviate and soothe skin that has been overexposed to the sun.
- Helps blood clot. Omega-6 helps your blood clot properly, which is really important for helping you heal fast from injuries.
- Maintain bone health. Omega-6 supports healthy bones and teeth, so it’s essential you have omega-6 in your diet to keep your bones and teeth strong, along with calcium and vitamin D.
- Regulate metabolism. Omega-6 helps promote a healthy metabolism, which can help you maintain a healthy weight and feel energized.
What Foods are High in Omega-6?
There are many foods which are high in omega-6 fatty acids, but getting enough of them into your diet can still be a challenge. The recommended amount of omega-6 fatty acid for adult men and women per day is anywhere from 11 to 22 grams based on a 2,000 calorie diet. It can be difficult to get the proper amount unless you’re consciously aware of what foods include omega-6. Here’s our list of top 5 foods that contain omega-6 and taste delicious, too.
- Walnuts. A great way to add a little omega-6 your diet is by tossing a handful of walnuts into your morning oats or sprinkling them on your salad. Walnuts are both delicious and packed with not only omega-6, but also other vitamins and nutrients your body needs.
- Tofu. Vegan friends, rejoice. You can ensure you’re getting the right amount of omega-6 in your diet by doubling up on your favorite meat protein alternative. While tofu might not be considered delicious straight from its packaging, this is by far one of the most versatile foods available in terms of methods of preparing it. Tofu can be baked, grilled, fried, marinated, and even blended into smoothies and sauces.
- Hemp seeds/hemp oil. No, it isn’t marijuana! Hemp seeds and the oil that is cold-pressed from them, are simply the seed parts of the cannabis-sativa plant. These seeds contain a large dose of omega 6 and are completely non-psychoactive. Hemp oil provides a mild flavor when used for cooking, and the seeds are great as a snack or sprinkled on salads and green vegetables.
- Peanut butter. No more feeling guilty about those midnight spoonfuls. Peanut butter is packed with omega-6, protein, and healthy doses of vitamin E and niacin.
- Eggs. Another incredibly versatile food in terms of cooking style and method, eggs provide protein, omega-6, and riboflavin.
Once you become familiar with which foods contain omega-6 fatty acids, it’s easy to incorporate them into your meals. Many of these foods make excellent main dishes or work well as an accompaniment to other foods.
How Else Can I get Essential Fatty Acids?
It’s always a great option to get your fatty acids from the foods you eat, but sometimes your diet or food intolerances may prohibit your ability to obtain the amount of the dietary supplement you need. For instance, many nuts are great sources of omega-6, but if you have a nut allergy you won’t be able to obtain your recommended daily allowance of omega-6 from a nut or nut product.
In these cases, or if you just aren’t sure you’ll be consistent in getting your necessary vitamins, minerals, and essential fats from your food, you can turn to supplements.
Supplements can be a great way to get essential fatty acids, including C15:0, a fatty acid that evidence supports is a critical nutrient our bodies need to sustain good health. In fact, a growing body of science supports that C15:0 is the first essential fatty acid to be discovered in 90 years.*
What is C15:0?
C15:0 is an odd-chain saturated fatty acid found in whole dairy products (whole milk, full fat butter), as well as some fish and plants. C15:0 is different from even-chain saturated fats (such as C16:0) in the way your body breaks it down. Extensive studies support that odd-chain saturated fatty acids (including C15:0) are good for your body, while even-chain saturated fatty acids are associated with inflammation, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Unfortunately, outdated health guidelines don’t discriminate between different types of saturated fatty acids and are yet to catch up with emerging science supporting the actual health benefits of some saturated fats, like C15:0.
C15:0 has been linked to numerous health benefits, but the most astounding property of this fatty acid appears to be its ability to support cellular health in a manner that can help protect your cells against aging-related breakdown, effectively allowing you to age on your own terms.* Here are some of the most impressive, science-backed health benefits of C15:0:*†
- C15:0 provides cell membrane support. As we age, our cell membranes can become fragile. C15:0 is a sturdy fatty acid that fortifies cell membranes to keep them resilient and functioning properly, protecting them against premature breakdown.
- C15:0 promotes mitochondrial health. You likely remember studying mitochondria in elementary school. These organelles inside your cells are the powerhouses which create cellular energy. When we age, our mitochondria become sluggish, which can leave us feeling sluggish, too. C15:0 supports mitochondrial function to keep them working (and us, energized).
- C15:0 supports balanced immunity and healthy metabolism. Getting older means our cells get out of balance, and that can leave our immunity and metabolism unbalanced too. By naturally activating receptors throughout our body that regulate immunity and metabolism (including helping us maintain healthy glucose and cholesterol levels), C15:0 can help bring our bodies back into proper balance.
How Can I Get C15:0 in My Diet?
Because we’ve spent the past four decades demonizing saturated fat, chances are you aren’t getting much C15:0 in your diet. That’s okay, there is a solution. Fatty15 is the first and only pure, powder C15:0 supplement available, and you can have it delivered right to your doorstep. Fatty15 is:
- Vegan-friendly. No animal products or byproducts, ever.
- Dietary allergen free (no dairy, soy, gluten, oil, or anything else).
- Colorless, tasteless, and odorless. Some healthy fatty acid supplements leave you with an unpleasant taste in your mouth (we’re looking at you, fish oil), but not fatty15.
- Contains one ingredient. Fatty15 contains only the pure, powder form of C15:0 (aka FA15).
- Sustainable. We care about the planet, too. Fatty15 and its packaging is sustainable, down to the bamboo lid on the reusable glass bottle.
If you’re ready to give your cells a fighting chance, Fatty15 is here to help. Age on your own terms by starting to protect your health on the cellular level.*
Eric Venn-Watson M.D.
Senior Scientist, Co-Founder
Eric is a physician, U.S. Navy veteran, and Co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. Eric served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Seraphina Therapeutics is a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the discovery of essential fatty acids and micronutrient therapeutics.
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