Healthy Fats – How Much Should You Eat and In What Form?

Omega-6 to Omega-3 Fat Ideal Ratio

Healthy Fats – How Much Should You Eat and In What Form?

Confused about how much fat you should eat per day? And in what form?

Nutritional guidelines say that we should eat no more than 20% of our daily calories in the form of fat, and that no more than 6% should be saturated fats. Of the rest, we should be consuming mostly polyunsaturated fats (Omega-3 and Omega-6) and monounsaturated fats (e.g. olive oil).

The so-called ‘essential fats’ that the body needs are Omega-6 and Omega-3, and the ideal ratio of these according to some research is 1:1. With the rise of processed and fried foods, these ratios are often shockingly skewed towards the Omega-6 side, meaning that more people are likely suffering from diseases related to inflammation in the body, such as arthritis and dementia. Eating a ratio closer to 1:1 means that our bodies and brains are better protected against these previously mentioned diseases as well as having less chance of developing cardiovascular disease.

So how do we ensure we get both these fats on a daily basis? Here’s one way, as illustrated in my handy graphic. Flax seeds contain Omega-3, whereas sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds all contain Omega-6. Add a tablespoon of the ground seed mixture to your daily diet and you’re good to go where your essential fats are concerned! It really is that simple!

Please share if you have friends who may also benefit from this easy guide!

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Comments (2)

  1. shannonmasters
    May 28, 2013

    Janice, this might sound like a dumb question, but what is a measure? In your photo it looks like there are more sesame seeds than pumpkin or sunflower.
    I am fascinated by this. Thanks for posting it.

    • Janice Cumberlidge
      May 28, 2013

      Good question Shan! A measure can be whatever you want – a tablespoon, a quarter cup, whatever! The idea is you mix all the seeds up together and once you have your ‘ideal’ mixture you can then grind small amounts up when you need to use them. You then use a tablespoon of the ground up stuff per day.
      The flax seeds contain the Omega-3’s and the sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds all contain Omega-6’s, so you can use any or all of these latter 3 in whatever amounts you like, as long as you end up with approximately half flax seed and half ‘the rest’. So it doesn’t matter that in my picture it appears there are more sesame seeds than pumpkin for example. Get me?
      Obviously sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds all have their own other individual properties, amounts of other vitamins & minerals in them, so it’s nice to include all three for a balanced mix.
      Hope that makes sense, let me know if you need any more clarification!
      Janice. x


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