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Find out how I improved my 6:3 ratio on a plant-based diet.
About 10 weeks ago I undertook a challenge to improve my omega 6:3 ratio. As someone who doesn’t eat fish I found it quite challenging to incorporate omega 3 fats into my diet.
Omega 6 and omega 3 are essential fatty acids in the body responsible for controlling inflammation, brain development and regulating blood pressure. Omega 6 has a pro-inflammatory role in the body while omega 3 has an anti-inflammatory role. Ideally, your omega 6:3 ratio should be around 1.5-3:1, that means between 1.5 and 3 times the amount of omega 6 than omega 3.
The last time I had my levels checked my ratio was 33.50 – that’s over 30 times more omega 6 than 3! So I embarked on an experiment to see if I could improve my ratio by incorporating plant sources of omega 3, and decreasing my omega 6. I started eating flaxseeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds (all good sources of omega 3) in my oats for breakfast as well as trying to cut down on the amount of omega 6-rich oil I consume – this would be harder as I eat out quite often and restaurant food is notorious for being oily.
The results of my most recent test show I now have a ratio of 20 -which is still high, but an improvement of 13. Here's what Medichecks doctor Hamed Kamali had to say about my results:
"Your ratio is a lot better however as I mentioned previously, the importance when trying to correct the ratio is to ensure you reduce your omega 6 as well as increasing omega 3. Chia seeds have less bioavailable omega 3 than ground chia or flax so that may be an issue. I would recommend cutting out oil and more so making sure you aren’t eating too many meat substitutes. Processed protein sources such as seitan etc are sources of unhealthy fats. Try a strict whole foods plant-based diet for a month I bet it will go down even further!"
So whilst I still have a long way to go, the fact that I improved my ratio by 13 is something to be proud of! I have some algae oil capsules I can take if necessary, and I will take Dr Hamed's advice to swap whole chia seeds for ground and cut out oil even more from my diet. Stay tuned for part 3 to see if I can improve things even further!