Seaweed for Omega-3

Seaweed is the ultimate source of omega-3 in seafood, so why not take a shortcut and skip the fish. There are many different seaweeds that you can buy and they are all good sources of omega-3. The quantity of omega-3 is not as high in seaweed as it is in fish and seafood, but it is the seaweed and algae that are the source of omega-3 in fish and seafood.

There are many different kinds of dried seaweed available and they are often used in Japanese and surprisingly in Irish cooking. They can be used in soups, salads and even baking. In addition to the omega-3 seaweeds and algae are a good source of minerals and iodine.

This link discusses the benefits of omega-3 and the benefits of using seaweeds as a source:

Fat is Essential, You Just Have to keep it Balanced

For decades we were told that fat will make you fat. It became public enemy number one in the diet world. Saturate fat was considered especially bad and we were told that if we eat any fat, it should be polyunsaturated fats. Fat Free became the new marketing focus in the grocery aisles. Carbohydrates based foods were the substitute, made from refined grains, sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup. The result was more weight gain, not the weight loss that was to be expected by avoiding the higher calories in fat. Then we were introduced to the Atkins diet—a diet based on fat—and people were losing weight on it! Not that I would recommend the Atkins diet, but it certainly put an end to the theory that fat makes you fat.
The omega-3 and omega-6 fats are essential for life, we cannot live without them. It is not difficult to get them in our diet, but we need to keep them in balance. That is what is difficult — keeping them balanced, especially given the food choices we have with our industrial agriculture and food industry providing what we have in our grocery stores. Our industrial agriculture system produces millions of tons of grains and carbohydrate rich foods. The fats in most of these foods are high in omega-6, producing omega-6/3 ratios in excess of 10 to 1 and as high as 20 to 1 in some. These high ratios are behind many of our medical problems.
Our bodies do make fats. We can take carbohydrate energy and turn it into fats like triglycerides and cholesterol. We can make a wide variety of fatty acids up to 16 carbons long, but we cannot make the 18, 20 and 22 carbon omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Our bodies do need some of the fats that it makes, but often it is just a way to store excess energy. Cholesterol and triglyceride levels in our bloodstream are indications that we are probably consuming more calories than we are burning—in other words they are indicators of overeating, which is generally pretty obvious based on our height to weight ratio or BMI. Overeating has created a nation that now has 1 in 3 considered obese.
How did we get here? There are a combination of factors; reduced need for physical labor in our jobs, increased intake of sugar, especially high-fructose corn syrup, the makeup of our processed foods and increasing reliance on them, our increasing omega-6/3 ratios which produces hormones that stimulate appetite. As the calories we need to do our jobs decreased, we did not reduce our intake of calories in proportion. Some suggest that sugar is even addictive, giving us a sugar high that the pleasure centers in our brains want us to repeat. The high omega-6/3 ratio produces endo-cannabanoids, which act like marijuana and give us the munchies. All of these factors are singly or in combination producing an obesity epidemic.
Obesity alone is an indicator of a risk for heart disease. It increases the work our heart has to do to maintain circulation. It increases the risk of artery clogging cholesterol and fat deposits. It is part of the reason that medical science jumped to the conclusion that cholesterol was a major cause of heart disease. In addition, they assumed that dietary intake of cholesterol was the real problem, without really understanding the mechanisms behind the manufacturing of cholesterol in our bodies. Ultimately pharmaceutical companies identified drugs that could block the enzyme (HmgCoA ) that our cells use to make cholesterol. However, that doesn’t eliminate the underlying problem of obesity and the drugs (statins) come with their own set of problems.
It was the focus on cholesterol and its correlation with heart disease that pointed us in the wrong direction for the past 30 to 40 years. Dietary sources of cholesterol and saturated fats were to be avoided. In their place, vegetable oils with polyunsaturated lipids were recommended. The medical community had made a common mistake of assuming that correlation implied cause without identifying the mechanisms that could prove cause. Now, with the idea that cholesterol was the cause of heart disease so ingrained in the minds of doctors and people, it has been very hard to correct that mistake and teach people about one of the real causes of heart disease—Omega-6!
The statins have no effect on excess omega-6 and the increased inflammation, clotting and adhesion that it produces. Taking fish oil will help balance the essential fat ratio, but it won’t help much if we continue to consume massive amounts of omega-6 typical of most on western diets. Even those on vegan and vegetarian diets can have excessive omega-6 if they are not aware of the sources and do not eat seafood.

Vegans and Vegetiarians–Omega-6/3 ratio matters, no matter what diet you prefer

Even vegans and vegetarians can end up with high omega-6 ratios in their tissue if they are not aware of the sources and quantities of omega-6 and omega-3 in various foods. The Paleo diet, low carb diet, South Beach diet, Atkins diet, diabetic diets all can benefit from maintaining a balance between omega-6 and omega-3 because the effects of these essential fats operate at the cellular level in every cell in our bodies. They make up our cell membranes and compete with each other for positions in the cell membrane. When a cell needs a hormone, it simply sends a phospholipase enzyme to clip one of these essential fats and turn it over to enzymes like the COX-1 or COX-2 enzyme to make a prostaglandin. If the starting point for the prostaglandin is an omega-6 fat, the result is an inflammatory hormone, if it starts with an omega-3 fat, the prostaglandin that results will be anti-inflammatory. There are a series of hormones that are derived from these essential fats and in each case we need to have a balance between omega-6 and omega-3.

Omega-6 is necessary, just like omega-3. We need it to help with clotting and healing from injuries, but excess omega-6 ends up causing our bodies to make way too many harmful hormones and too few of the beneficial omega-3 hormones. It is a good thing that we need some omega-6, because it would be hard to avoid it completely since it is in almost all foods at some level. Our problems start when we eat foods that are extremely high in omega-6 without balancing that intake with omega-3. For vegans and vegetarians it is easy to end up with a high omega-6/3 ratio, because there are few plant based foods that are high in omega-3, but there are many that are really high in omega-6. The green leafy veggies do have a good ratio, but the quantity of omega-3 is low, so it only take a little of the foods that are high in omega-6 to upset your balance.

I am not a vegan or vegetarian, but I do consume a lot of veggies. I have a friend that is a vegetarian. He began following a vegetarian diet to improve his heart health, but after a while, he began developing inflammatory problems, like pseudo-gout in his wrist and problems with his Achilles tendon. His tennis elbow was giving him problems as well. I asked him to review my book and suggested that he use the information in it to balance his omega-6/3 ratio. He did and now has eliminated his inflammatory based problems. Now his vegetarian diet is truly heart healthy.

The diet I follow is close to a Paleo diet, although I do eat dairy and some pasta, rice, and use some flour.
I am able to get much of the meat I consume from the wild. Wild meat are more likely to have a balanced omega-6/3 ratio like animals in Paleo times, but meats and eggs produced by our modern agriculture system have high omega-6/3 ratios that need to be balanced by other foods that are high in omega-3. My book can show you how to balance your omega-6/3 ratio.

Saturated Fats vs Omega-6

For over 50 years doctors have been telling us that saturated fats and cholesterol were causing heart disease. They were wrong, there was never any biochemical mechanism to show how saturated fats were causing heart disease. There were some studies that showed a correlation between blood cholesterol levels, but there were others that did not show a correlation in other countries. Still, the fact that the arterial plaque contained saturated fats and cholesterol was enough to make some jump to the conclusion that cholesterol was the cause of heart disease. The real cause is omega-6, the correlations are much stronger than they ever were with cholesterol, but again correlation does not prove cause–it just gives you a point to begin the search for cause. The proof comes from the biochemical processes that use the omega-6 lipids to make hormones that promote clotting, adhesion, inflammation, vaso-constriction (causing higher blood pressure), pain and swelling. There are no biochemical mechanisms showing saturated fats doing any of those things that are all associated with heart disease and many other diseases.

Overeating in general is a major factor in the accumulation of fat deposits in our arteries. It is also one of the sources of cholesterol in our blood. When we eat more energy than we burn, our cells look for ways to store that energy, creating fat is one of those ways, but making cholesterol is another. There is a feedback system that suppresses the formation of cholesterol by cells when blood cholesterol levels are high, but we overwhelm that system when we overeat. As I pointed out in an earlier post, omega-6 is one of the causes of our overeating, it causes our bodies to make endo-cannabanoids that stimulate us to eat more than we need. Reducing omega-6 will help you lose weight and will improve you health and prevent many different medical problems.

My book will show you how to reduce your omega-6.

It is on amazon as an ebook for $3.99

Video on balancing omega-6/3

Here is a link to a video by Dr Bill Lands on the benefits of balancing your omega-6/3 ratio.

My book teaches you how to reduce omega-6 and increase your omega-3 to achieve a balance. It has list of the amount of omega-6 and omega-3 in a wide variety of foods, recipes with the % omega-6 they will generate and a month of menus.

Available on Amazon for $2.99 (for a limited time)

Print version available at for $10.49

Omega-6 Makes You Fat!

When I started following The Oil-Change Diet, I did it for health reasons, not really expecting it to help me lose weight. I was definitely pleased when I lost 15 pounds in the first 3 weeks, but I knew that weight loss was mostly water weight (from reduced inflammation, swelling and vaso-constriction). I have been really pleased to see the continued weight loss at the rate of a couple pounds per month that has followed and helped me lose what is now a total of 50 pounds.

I have been guessing that the reason was somehow the change in omega-6/3 ratio had changed my serotonin or serotonin receptors, but I finally found a scientific basis for that weight loss:

The paper points out that increased levels of omega-6 in our diet causes an increase in endocannabanoids. As a result, these endocannabanods act like marijuana and give us the munchies. They found that a high percentage of omega-6 whether in a high fat or low fat diet increases these endocannabanoids. Their paper shows that even with a low fat diet, when the ratio of omega-6/3 is high, the omega-6 causes increased adipose tissue (fat).

Here is the abstract:

Dietary linoleic acid elevates the endocannabinoids 2-AG and anandamide and promotes weight gain in mice fed a low fat diet.

Alvheim AR1, Torstensen BE, Lin YH, Lillefosse HH, Lock EJ, Madsen L, Frøyland L, Hibbeln JR, Malde MK.

Author information


Dietary intake of linoleic acid (LNA, 18:2n-6) has increased dramatically during the 20th century and is associated with greater prevalence of obesity. The endocannabinoid system is involved in regulation of energy balance and a sustained hyperactivity of the endocannabinoid system may contribute to obesity. Arachidonic acid (ARA, 20:4n-6) is the precursor for 2-AG and anandamide (AEA), and we sought to determine if low fat diets (LFD) could be made obesogenic by increasing the endocannabinoid precursor pool of ARA, causing excessive endocannabinoid signaling leading to weight gain and a metabolic profile associated with obesity. Mice (C57BL/6j, 6 weeks of age) were fed 1 en% LNA and 8 en% LNA in low fat (12.5 en%) and medium fat diets (MFD, 35 en%) for 16 weeks. We found that increasing dietary LNA from 1 to 8 en% in LFD and MFD significantly increased ARA in phospholipids (ARA-PL), elevated 2-AG and AEA in liver, elevated plasma leptin, and resulted in larger adipocytes and more macrophage infiltration in adipose tissue. In LFD, dietary LNA of 8 en% increased feed efficiency and caused greater weight gain than in an isocaloric reduction to 1 en% LNA. Increasing dietary LNA from 1 to 8 en% elevates liver endocannabinoid levels and increases the risk of developing obesity. Thus a high dietary content of LNA (8 en%) increases the adipogenic properties of a low fat diet.

My book, teaches you how to reduce your omega-6 and lose weight as well as prevent many of the medical problems we face in the US.


Just because you are young and healthy doesn’t mean omega-6/3 ratio doesn’t matter.

Many people do not pay much attention to their diet as long as they do not perceive themselves as having a diet related problem. However, if you are consuming a typical “Western” or even Mediterranean diet, no matter what your age, you are doing harm to your body because of the excess omega-6.

In a review on efforts to prevent cardiovascular disease by Dr Bill Lands in 2003, he pointed out a study of young soldiers killed in Korea (1953) found that 20% of 15 to 19 yr olds and 40% of 30-34 yr olds already had signs of fatty deposits in their descending aortas. He also points out that clinicians and the health community in general wait until disease symptoms appear before designing treatments instead of providing preventive education much earlier.

In many individuals, the first sign or coronary artery disease is sudden death, but the cause of the disease is long-term chronic inflammatory process involving excessive omega-6 autacoids (hormones made from omega-6 lipids). Preventing heart disease and many other diseases related to excessive omega-6 intake requires educating individuals about the dietary sources of omega-6 and consequences of excessive omega-6 well before symptoms appear.

The simple process of educating individuals about omega-6 is difficult. There is too much conflicting information coming from sources of dietary information. Most dietitians get their information from USDA dietary guidelines–USDA works for farmers. Dietitians often have little or no understanding of the bio-chemical causes of disease. Even many doctors do not know or understand the biochemical processes behind many of the diseases they treat. Doctors don’t really have a monetary interest in preventing disease and often spend little time dealing with healthy patients before problems appear.

Dr Lands and a few other doctors are trying to educate people about the consequences of excessive omega-6 and the dietary information needed to avoid it. I was fortunate to find the information on omega-6 when I did, I can only wish I had found this information sooner.

Omega-3, 6/3 Ratio and Pain

Below is part of a publication by Dr Gordon on the effect of omega-3 on pain and inflammation. One of the studies he points to found 59% of arthritic patients were able to discontinue use of NSAIDS and substitute Omega-3 supplements for control of their arthritic pain. I am certainly one that would be in the 59% group. The pain relief does not just apply to arthritic patients. The bottom line–if you have pain– follow The Oil-Change Diet.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Neuropathic Pain
Case studies demonstrate that oral intake of omega-3
polyunsaturated fatty acids from pharmaceutical-grade fish oil
supplements results in pain reduction and functional improvement
in patients with neuropathic pain.
By Gordon D. Ko, MD, CCFP(EM), FRCPC, PhD, Leigh Arseneau, BSc, ND, Nathaniel Nowacki, BA and Serge Mrkoboda, BSc

PUFAs and Eicosanoid Metabolism
The n-3 and n-6 fatty acids are chemically and metabolically distinct and have contrasting physiological functions12 (see Figure 4). The eicosanoid metabolic products synthesized from AA, namely prostaglandins (PGs), thromboxanes (TXs), leukotrienes (LTs), hydroxy fatty acids and lipoxins are formed in larger quantities than those formed from n-3 PUFAs—such as EPA—because of the increased amounts of n-6 PUFAs in the Western diet.1 Eicosanoids derived from AA are biologically active in small quantities and, if they are formed in inordinate amounts, they contribute to the formation of atheromas and thrombi.1 In addition, they lead to the development of allergic and inflammatory disorders and to cell proliferation.

When humans increase their consumption of EPA and DHA, from oily fish or from fish oil supplements (liquids or capsules), an increased proportion of these fatty acids are found in the cell membranes of inflammatory cells in particular.14 EPA and DHA incorporation into these membranes occurs in a dose-response fashion and is partly at the expense of AA.15 Hence, since there is less AA available for eicosanoid biosynthesis by the cyclooxygenase (COX) and lipoxygenase (LOX) enzymes, fish oil supplementation of the diet results in a decreased production of the proinflammatory prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), thromboxane A2 (TXA2), TXB2, leukotriene B4 (LTB4), LTE4 and 5-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid, but not of prostacyclin I2 (PGI2).12,14

EPA can also act as a substrate for both COX and LOX enzymes and thereby compete with AA for prostaglandin and leukotriene synthesis.12 EPA gives rise to the 3-series PGs and TXs (such as TXA3, PGE3, PGI3) and to the 5-series LTs (LTB5, LTE5) and 5-hydroxyeicosapentaenoic acid.14 The eicosanoids formed from EPA are frequently less biologically potent than those formed from AA.15 For example, LTB5 is 10- to 100- fold less potent as a neutrophil chemotactic agent than LTB4 and PGE3 is a less potent inducer of COX-2 gene expression in fibroblasts than PGE2.15 Furthermore, TXA3 is a weaker platelet aggregator and vasoconstrictor than TXA2.12 Recent studies have shown that EPA and DHA also give rise to resolvins (from EPA and DHA) and docosanoids (from DHA) through pathways involving COX and LOX enzymes.16 In cell culture and animal-feeding studies, these novel mediators were demonstrated to be anti-inflammatory, inflammation resolving, and immu-nomodulatory.16

Some of the effects of n-3 PUFAs are elicited by eicosanoid-independent mechanisms. Studies have shown, for example, that the intake of dietary fish oil results in decreased leukocyte chemotaxis, decreased expression of adhesion molecules and decreased generation of reactive oxygen species.15 n-3 PUFAs have also been shown to inhibit the production of proinflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a), interleukin-1b (IL-1b), IL-6 and IL-8, in both cell culture studies and in human trials.14,15 Additionally, n-3 PUFAs might exert their effects on inflammatory gene expression through direct action on intracellular signaling pathways which lead to activation of one or more transcription factors such as nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kb).14

Figures 4. Pathways to inflammation: omega-6 is pro-inflammatory and omega-3 is anti-inflammatory.

n-3 PUFAs and Chronic Disease
The benefits of n-3 PUFA supplementation are well documented in the literature for the prevention and management of a wide variety of health conditions including inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease, and depression. Less is known, however, about the use and efficacy of these fatty acids in the treatment of other disorders such as fibromyalgia syndrome and neuropathic pain.

n-3 PUFAs and Inflammatory/ Autoimmune Diseases
A number of clinical trials have been conducted assessing the benefits of dietary supplementation with n-3 PUFAs in inflammatory and autoimmune disease in humans, including RA, Crohn’s diseases, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, lupus erythematosus, MS, and migraine headaches.12

A recent meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was conducted by Goldberg et al. to assess the pain relieving effects of n-3 PUFAs in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or joint pain secondary to inflammatory bowel disease and dysmenorrhea.17 Results from the analysis showed that supplementation with n-3 PUFAs for 3-4 months reduces patient-reported joint pain intensity, minutes of morning stiffness, number of painful and/or tender joints, and NSAID consumption.

Maroon et al. conducted a non-placebo controlled study to determine if patients could effectively substitute fish oil as an anti-inflammatory for NSAIDs.18 The study included 250 participants who had been seen by a neurosurgeon and were found to have chronic, nonsurgical, neck or back pain. After taking n-3 PUFAs for an average of 75 days, 59% discontinued their use of prescription NSAIDs and 60% stated that their overall pain was improved. Moreover, 88% stated they would continue to take the n-3 PUFAs. No significant adverse effects were reported. These results corroborate other controlled studies that compared ibuprofen and n-3 PUFAs demonstrating equivalent effects in reducing arthritic pain.18 Furthermore, such findings suggest that n-3 PUFAs may be a safe alternative to NSAIDs, particularly the COX-2 inhibitors which have been associated with extreme complications such as gastric ulcers, bleeding, blood pressure increase, myocardial infarction, and even death.19

Why doctors aren’t talking about omega-6.

Here is a link to and article by Dr Bill Lands about why doctors are not really treating the cause of heart disease–omega-6:’s%20Papers/2003Review.pdf

Doctors are biased toward using expensive procedures to fix medical problems–that is where a lot of their money comes from. Doctors pay more attention to drug treatments than to dietary remedies. Even if they do pay attention to dietary studies, they want simple studies that compare one diet to another instead of complex biochemical studies that seek to understand the complex cause of diseases.

Insurance companies don’t care either, the higher the cost of medical treatments, the more they can justify higher rates. They get to keep 20% of the cost of their policy holder pay, so the more you pay the more they get to keep.

Only the people ultimately paying for medical cost–you and I–are really interested in reducing medical problems and their associated cost. The problem is that most people do not have the knowledge to understand the biochemical causes of disease. I have the ability to understand the biochemistry and the chemical terminology, but until I began to research the effects of lipids in my diet, I was unaware of the studies that make it clear to me that excess omega-6 is behind many of the medical problems that I was dealing with personally. In my book, I try to make it simple and easy for people that do not have the ability to understand chemistry and biochemistry and just show you what foods you need to avoid and the ones you need to increase in your diet. I also provide the chemistry and biochemistry, which for most people would probably be a good sleeping aid.

My recipes and menu will help you learn how to prepare truly healthy meals and my list of lipid content of various foods will help you select the kinds of foods that are lower in omega-6 and higher in omega-3.

Book Price Reduced

I have reduced the price of my ebook for a limited time to $2.99 on Amazon and Smashwords.

Here are the links to my ebook: Amazon:


The printed version is available on Lulu for $10.49, but will soon be going to 14.99 when it goes to retail outlets, Here is the link to Lulu:

Thanks to all those that have bought my book. I hope the diet helps you as much as it has helped me.