A recent American Heart Association science advisory concludes that omega-6 fatty acids – found in some vegetable oils, nuts and seeds – are a beneficial part of a heart-healthy eating plan. The advisory was published in the Jan. 26, 2009 online issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
- Most people should consume at least five to ten percent of their total daily calories from omega-6 fatty acids.
- Replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats, which are natural sources of omega-6, may help reduce heart disease risk. Saturated fats are found in meat, full-fat dairy products, and tropical oils, such as coconut and palm oil.
- Higher intakes of omega-6 may improve insulin resistance, reduce diabetes risk and lower blood pressure.
Why is this important?
- There has been debate as to whether omega-6 fatty acids lead to arterial inflammation, a marker for heart disease. The advisory explains why omega-6 fatty acids are in fact heart-healthy and are not pro-inflammatory.
- American Heart Association scientific advisories are based on a careful analysis of peer-reviewed studies. The studies are reviewed by a team of experts who then reach conclusions based the full body of scientific evidence.