You Need Omega-6s, Too
Though omega-6s get a bad rap (we’ll explain in a sec), they also contribute to our health.
“Omega-6s are known for their pro-inflammatory properties,” explains Michels. “While this may sound like a bad thing, many functions of the body—including protection from illness and injury—require pro-inflammatory responses.”
Omega-6s also help you maintain healthy blood sugar and cholesterol and support our blood’s ability to clot, according to Harvard Medical School.
You’ll find these fats in soy, corn, nuts, seeds, animal products, and oils made from vegetables and seeds.
The downside: “Consuming more omega-6s than you need can actually contribute to excess inflammation in the body,” says Appel. (This can worsen symptoms in people who have inflammatory conditions, like arthritis.) In fact, a high amount of omega-6 in cell membranes may be associated with increased risk of heart disease, she adds.