IBD? Balance your Omegas

If you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in Fort Myers, at some point or another you’ve likely heard someone tell you to make sure you balance your good fats with your bad fats. If you’re like most people, you’re probably wondering why you would want to balance “fat” in the first place and how in the world is there such a thing as “good fat” to begin with. When people refer to the good and bad (in terms of fat), they’re referring to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids—completely different from the visceral fat that may have come to mind initially.

Nutritionists often refer to these fatty acids as “essential” fats, mainly because your body cannot produce them on its own. Your body needs such essential fats to sustain proper brain and nerve function and build healthy cells. So, the only way to obtain fatty acids is through proper food sources. Maintaining a balancing act with your essential fatty acids can be tricky as too much or too little can lead to potential health complications.

According to a report from the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre at the Biosciences Institute in Ireland, high ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids can increase a person’s risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Such findings lead experts to believe that diets containing a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats indicate a tendency to prompt inflammation that could lead to potential chronic inflammatory diseases. Researchers suggest an increase in the ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s may lead to a reduction in the prevalence of such diseases like inflammatory bowel disease.

Balance your omega-3s and omega-6s and consider the benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet.

If you’re suffering from IBD in Fort Myers, try increasing your consumption of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. By making several healthy adjustments to your daily diet, you can successfully balance your omega fatty acids for the greater good of your health.

  • Consume healthy fish two times a week. Healthy sources of fish contain an adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acids. When considering adding fish to your diet, choose safe options such as wild salmon, anchovies or sardines to limit your exposure to dioxins such as fish-borne mercury.
  • Eat more healthy sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is one the most common omega-3 fatty acids and can be found in many healthy food sources such as flaxseeds, hempseeds, walnuts and dark, leafy green vegetables. The majority of ALA sources also contain plenty of vital minerals, vitamins and antioxidants for added health benefits.

As you work towards increasing your intake of healthy omega-3 sources, make an effort to cut back on your intake of omega-6 fatty acids at the same time. Reducing your intake of such fats while increasing your intake of omega-3s is a healthy start to fostering an anti-inflammatory diet.

  • Cut back on your consumption of processed foods. Sufferers of IBD should take care as many processed food manufacturers use cheap vegetable oils that contain excess amounts of omega-6s to mass produce their unhealthy products. Instead, choose fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables and steer clear of such omega-6 laden choices—by doing so you might able to cut your intake of omega-6s by a third or more.
  • Replace cooking oils with healthier alternatives. Vegetable oils such as corn, sunflower or grape seed oil contain few omega-3 fatty acids and too much omega-6 fatty acids. Replace these cooking oils for others that are chock full of omega-3s such as macadamia, olive and avocado oil.

Sufferers of inflammatory bowel disease in Fort Myers can adjust their diets accordingly to limit their omega-6s while increasing their consumption of omega-3s to help fight against inflammation.