So far we have learned about omega 3, omega 6 and how the balance can affect our health. We have also gone into the different types of omega 3 fatty acids and how they are not all created equal. In this last segment, we will learn how to use this knowledge to select the appropriate survival foods for peak performance in a collapse situation.
At the end of the day, we are seeking to restore our Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio as close to 1:1 as we can. With the vast majority of people on western diets leaning north of 1:10 in favor of omega 6, we have three options. We can either reduce the omega 6 in the diet, increase the amount of omega 3, or both.
1. Reduce the amount of omega 6 in your diet
Omega 6 is prevalent in the standard American diet primarily due to the amount of vegetable oil present. Before the advent of the industrial revolution, animal fats such as tallow and lard were saved from the processing meat butchered locally to use for cooking. However, since we have distanced ourselves from our food production, capitalism has rewarded the cheapest form of oil production, vegetable oils.
It has been estimated that as much as 20% of the calories consumed by the population of the US consists of soybean oil alone. Other vegetable oils such as canola, corn and safflower oils are rampant in packaged foods across the country.
The solution to this is to avoid mass produced foods containing oil. I challenge you to go to your fridge and look at the ingredients in any salad dressing, condiment, margarine or any other fat containing product. 9 times out of 10 they will contain a harmful vegetable oil.
For those of you investing money into long term food storage, make sure you are not buying foods containing these oils. They will make you sick!
2. Increase the amount of omega 3 in your diet
The other option is to boost the amount of omega 3 in your diet. Now, considering the availability of food in a survival situation, the options might be limited. We will speak in terms of ideals, but at the end of the day any form of omega 3 will help offset the balance.
From our last article we learned about the hierarchy of omega 3s: DHA, then EPA, then ALA. While getting cold water fish may be great for those of you who fish through holes in ice, it will be difficult for most other people.
A great option for people who are planning to homestead is grass fed meat and dairy. The omega 3 versus omega 6 content can be a double edged sword when eating meat. The fat profile of meat reflects the diet, so factory farmed cows eating corn will typically be high in omega 6. However, healthy, grass fed beef, butter, milk and cheese is one of the best sources of omega 3 out there. This also applies to wild caught game.
Finding your balance
Reducing your Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio is not easy. Some of the biggest names in personal health such as Dave Asprey eat incredibly rigorous diets and still have a tough time getting to 1:1. This is one of the situations where you can never do too much. At the same time, you don’t need to kill yourself for it.
Making the choice to do something small like make your own salad dressing instead of using the stuff from the grocery store is a win for you. Over time these will add up to less inflammation, better blood markers and overall better performance and survivability.