Winter Wellness: O is for Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fats

Omega rich foods include oily fish. Photo / Thinkstock
Omega rich foods include oily fish. Photo / Thinkstock

What the A to Z of winter wellness is all about

When the chill factor drops our focus on good health often drifts. Not only are we more susceptible to nasty winter lurgies, but the temptation to hibernate can mean less moving and not as much focus on the right food for optimal health. In a bid to stay focused (or re-focus) this winter, we've called on the smarts of holistic health expert, Dr Libby Weaver to help compile our interactive A to Z of Winter Wellness. Each weekday we will reveal the next letter and what it stands for in our health file, plus informative graphics and recipe suggestions to help boost your health. Check in to Life & Style every afternoon for your winter wellness inspiration.
- Nicky Park, Life & Style Editor

O | Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fats by Dr Libby Weaver

The topic of fat can elicit confusion even among those who have good nutrition knowledge.

How much and what types to eat can lead to great uncertainty for people wanting to take good care of their health. So let's consider the actions of two common dietary fats, omgea 3 and omgea 6 fats.

Omega 3 and omega 6 fats are both polyunsaturated fats. The term "polyunsaturated" refers to the structure of the fats. The omega 3 fats have an anti-inflammatory action in the body, while omega 6 fats tend to promote inflammation, a process that when excessive, can play a role in many degenerative conditions.

A common dietary error that can have significant health consequences is the regular over-consumption of omega 6 fats compared to the amount of omega 3s being consumed. Focus on eating less omega 6-rich foods which, will naturally happen when you eat less processed food and more Real Food, and focus on eating more omega 3 rich foods. Omega rich foods include oily fish, linseeds (flax seeds) and walnuts and chia seeds. Check out the Cashew and Chia Seed Pudding in the Breakfast section of Dr Libby's Real Food Kitchen, as this is a simple and delicious way to include more omgea 3 fats in your diet.

Dr Libby Weaver (Ph.D) is one of Australasia's leading nutrition specialists and weight loss experts based in Auckland, New Zealand. For more information visit www.drlibby.com.

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