Top Nutritionist Debunks Common Myths About Omega-6 Fats

October 21, 2022
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

There’s been a good deal of debate in recent years surrounding the topic of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, their biological roles, and how much we should be eating. 

Omega-3s and omega-6s are both essential fatty acids (EFAs), meaning they are exactly that, essential. Our bodies cannot make them, so we must get them from the foods we eat. Omega-3s and omega-6s are both integral parts of the structure and function of cell membranes which impacts every function in our bodies.

When the scientific community began recognizing inflammation as a major driver of chronic disease, they began to search for the cause. Blood levels revealed most of our diets are extremely top-heavy in omega-6 fatty acids, and light on omega-3s. So, naturally, omega-6s, as a whole, were blamed for inflammation, especially arachidonic acid (AA). Omega-6 fats were labeled “pro-inflammatory” and omega-3s as “anti-inflammatory” and the misguided mantra to simply reduce your dietary omega-6 intake and increase your omega-3 intake (i.e. supplement with fish oil, etc.) spread like wildfire. 

The problem is, this is oversimplified. Simply put, omega-6 fats are not created equal. It’s true that people are overloaded in omega-6s, but the type of omega-6 they’re overloaded with is the toxic kind, mostly oils destroyed by overprocessing. We’re talking about oils used in fast food, packaged processed foods and junk food loaded with sugar and hydrogenated vegetable oils – all of which are definitely pro-inflammatory! It’s estimated that Americans now consume 100,000 times more vegetable oils than they did in the year 1900. 

While the toxicity of junk omega-6 oils became generalized to all omega-6s, the truth is, there are also many high-quality functional omega-6 fats. We not only don’t get enough of these, but we also don’t get enough omega-3s either. We are actually deficient in both!

The pervasive recommendation to avoid omega-6 fats is actually counterproductive to your health, metabolism and weight loss efforts. Reducing the “good” omega-6s in your diet will only further expand an already-expanding waistline because, as it turns out, functional omega-6s are some of the most powerful fats for activating your fat-burning engines, restoring cellular membranes and keeping inflammation in check! 

In this blog, I share some of my favorite Omega-6s and how you can incorporate them into your daily diet for a myriad of health and weight loss benefits…

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The payoff: Women in one study who increased their intake of GLA lost 3 pounds a week without any other lifestyle changes. Nutty and full of flavor, hemp hearts (also called hemp seeds) can be sprinkled over salads, yogurt and oatmeal. They also add a nice creaminess when blended into smoothies. To get the benefits, simply add 2 tablespoons to your daily diet.

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GLA and CLA: A Powerful Duo to Fire Up Your Metabolism

Two of my very favorite all-star omega-6s are none other than gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). 

GLA raises your metabolism by stimulating brown fat (adipose tissue) in the body to burn calories for energy, while conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) especially targets visceral fat (found deep within the abdominal area) to powerfully burn belly fat while increasing lean muscle mass. I recommend taking this powerhouse duo together for full body fat-burning benefits!

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Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!



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