Omega fats

Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids are important dietary fats.

Despite them having individual health benefits, it is important to get a good balance of them. An imbalance in your diet may often contribute to a number of chronic diseases.


Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of fat the human body cannot produce. These fats are referred to as “essential fats” meaning we have to include them in our diet. Experts have recommended that we eat at least two portions of fish per week, particularly oily fish, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Here are some of their benefits Omega-3 provides:

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Contributes to brain development and function
  • General wellness of the heart, immune system and nervous system
  • Manage cholesterol, triglyceride and blood pressure levels
  • Helps manage or prevent depression


Omega-6 fatty acids are also a type of fat the human body cannot produce and needs to be obtained from our diet. They mainly provide energy. Considering the average diet, experts have noted the unhealthy increase in the consumption of omega-6 fatty acids from 1:1 to 15:1 in recent years. This may contribute to cardiovascular diseases and many types of cancers. Here are suggestions to decrease Omega-6 intake:

  • Decreasing consumption of red meat (especially lamb)
  • Replacing sunflower oil with vegetable oils such as canola oil, flaxseed oil, walnut oil or olive oil
  • Adding walnuts, chia seeds (soaked) or ground flaxseed to cereals, smoothies, yogurt and salads
  • Limit oily products such as mayonnaise salad dressings
  • Try to avoid processed foods such as crisp and take-aways
  • Consider taking a fish oil supplement


Omega-9 fatty acids aren’t strictly “essential” as the body can produce them. This, however, should not cause us to shy away from consuming foods containing omega-9 fatty acids. It can be found in olive oil, nuts and seeds. Here are the benefits of Omega-9:

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Reduces cardiovascular disease risk
  • Acts as a substitute in case of low levels of omega 3 and 6

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