Despite the fact that these lipids are essential for maintaining your health, omega 6 side effects can be quite dangerous. These elements aren’t toxic or directly harmful. The health risks they carry come from an ‘omega 6 overdose’, a condition quite common in the US. In order to protect your health and most of all heart, you need to control your intake of fats carefully.
Omega 6 essential fatty acids are a type of lipids that the human body cannot generate. However, they are a nutrient people need daily. When consumed in healthy amounts, these fats help protect your heart and control the cholesterol levels.
The omega 6 deficiency is extremely rare in the developed world, where extreme starvation is highly uncommon. In fact, the traditional American diet provides a higher than needed dose of these lipids. This wouldn’t have been a problem if the ‘overdose’ occurred only once I a while. However, continuous intake of large amounts of these fats unbalances the omega 3 to omega 6 ratio. This increases the risk of diseases and generally weakens the body.
Omega 6 Side Effects: Hidden Dangers
- Elevated cholesterol levels.
Although they are essential, omega 6 are still fats. Therefore, consuming too much can be bad for your cardiovascular system. When your omega 6 to omega 3 ratio is out of balance, these lipids can stop their function in lowering the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. Instead, they will start adding to it, which increases the risks of heart disease.
- Inflammatory reactions in the body.
One of the omega 6 side effects that can be good under certain circumstances in their contribution to inflammatory reactions. Many of the natural processes happening in the human body non-stop are inflammatory in nature. Therefore, they need this type of ‘fuel’ to run and maintain your general health. However, too much omega 6 makes these reactions go into overdrive. In a perfect case, omega 3 essential fatty acids will counter them with their anti-inflammatory effect. If you don’t get enough of these lipids while your levels of omega 6 are too high, your immunity weakens. This increases the risk of disease in every part of your body.
- Drug interactions.
There isn’t enough research into the interactions of omega 6 supplements with medications. However, available data shows that you shouldn’t take them with anticonvulsants.
How to Avoid Omega 6 Side Effects
There is no avoiding omega 6 in your diet. It’s a good thing as an adult should consume about 17 grams of them daily. However, you can prevent any negative side effects by controlling your overall intake of fats.
First of all, you need to understand where you get your omega 6. Most foods contain some amount of them, but the richest sources are:
- Safflower oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Sunflower oil
- Corn oil
- Sesame seeds
- Cottonseed oil
- Soybean oil
As you can see, omega 6 mostly get into your diet from cooking oils. Therefore, the easiest way to reduce their level is to stop frying your food. This would be a huge health boost for your cardiovascular system.
You can also switch to ‘healthier’ oils, reducing your intake of main omega 6 sources. Olive and coconut oil are the best cooking substitutes. The benefits of coconut oil make it one of the healthiest foods in your pantry, so try using it more often.
As omega 6 side effects become dangerous because of the lipid imbalance, you can prevent them by boosting omega 3. Food-wise, this would mean eating lots of seafood, especially fatty fish, like tuna and mackerel. However, you can also get extra omega 3 fatty acids from supplements, like Omega 3 EPA/DHA.
The Mediterranean diet has a good balance of fat types, so you can switch to it. If you need additional supplementation while following its guidelines, choose Krill Oil or Flaxseed Oil supplements. These products provide you with all types of essential fats and help maintain the healthy balance.