Unlocking the Power of the Omega 6: Omega 3 Fatty Acid Ratio

By: Dr. Mary Claire Haver


(and how it could save your life)

You may have heard me say it before – “it is so important to lower your omega 6: omega 3 ratio…..” But why? What is the difference between these two types of fatty acids? Should you really be concerned??

The answer – absolutely YES! Biochemically speaking (and put on your thinking caps for this one), omega-3 and omega-6 are both polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs); the main difference between the two is that the last double bond is 6 carbons away from the omega end of the fatty acid molecule in omega-6, while only 3 carbs away in omega-3. This might not mean much to you; in fact, you may be thinking they both sound pretty similar. However, the difference could not be more drastic or pronounced in terms of the harm an unbalanced ratio can have on your body.

Lets break it down:

  • Humans essentially evolved on a 1:1 ratio of omega-6: omega-3 fatty acids
  • Our genetic patterns and overall development thrived on this very particular ratio.
  • Fast forward to modern day… the ratio of omega-6: omega-3 fatty acids in the Western Diet, on average, is an astounding 15:1. Yes, FIFTEEN TO ONE.
  • When Omega 6 is broken down during normal body processes, the by-products are HIGHLY inflammatory?
  • The more Omega 6, the more inflammation, and the diseases associated with it

It is no wonder the prevalence of disease, specifically cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory-driven, autoimmune diseases, in Western societies is continuously sky-rocketing. It will get worse unless we make radical changes to our omega-6: omega-3 fatty acid consumption. Omega-3s have been shown to have profound anti-inflammatory effects; in fact, increased dietary intake of these fatty acids can positively alter the manifestation of disease. Amazing results published in a recent abstract, show promising benefits of lowering this ratio:

  • 4:1 omega-6: omega-3 ratio was associated with a 70% decrease in total mortality
  • decreased omega-6: omega-3 ratio exerted suppressive effects on cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory-driven, autoimmune diseases
  • 2.5:1 omega-6: omega-3 ratio successfully reduced inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
  • 10:1 omega-6: omega-3 ratio had adverse health consequences

I sincerely hope the importance and significance of a low omega-6: omega-3 ratio in your diet is clear.

In the Galveston Diet Signature Program, we explore this concept in more detail and I provide tips and tricks to ensure this ratio is as close to 1 as possible. In short, increase consumption of high omega-3 fatty acids– my favorite foods to do so are below:

  • Avocado
  • Fatty Fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel)
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Eggs
  • Leafy Greens (brussel sprouts, kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower)

Article References:




If you are interested in learning more about the science behind The Galveston Diet, Click Here.

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With an anti-inflammatory approach to nutrition, Dr. Haver has cracked the code and found an innovative solution that actually works at this time in our lives. The Galveston Diet can help women in menopause lose weight, burn fat, and feel more confident in their skin.

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This blog provides general information and discussion about medicine, health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker.

Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency room immediately.

The views expressed on this blog and website have no relation to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other institution with which the authors are affiliated.

While the information on the site was prepared to provide accurate information regarding topics related to general and specific health issues, the information contained in the site is made available with the express understanding that neither Dr. Mary Claire Haver, galvestondiet.com, nor the other experts on the site, nor the site itself, nor members of the Site are dispensing medical advice and do not intend any of this information to be used for self-diagnosis or treatment.


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