In a recent study conducted by Dr. Christopher Ramsden, a clinical investigator with the U.S. National Institutes of Health in Washington, researchers offered a fresh analysis of data from the Sydney Diet Heart Study, which studied 458 Australian men aged 30 to 59 with a history of cardiovascular disease for more than three years.
"The group that was fed Omega-6 from Safflower oil, they had increased risk of death from all causes as well as death due to coronary heart disease and death due to cardiovascular disease" said study author Dr. Christopher Ramsden.
Dr. Ramsden speculated that having more omega-6 in the diet could promote oxidation and inflammation in the arteries.
Nutrition professor Richard Bazinet, who studies fatty acids at the University of Toronto said this week's study in the British Medical Journal suggesting that omega-6s may borderline increase heart attack risk, needs to be publicized for public safety.
Dr. Artemis Simopoulos, President of the Centre for Genetics, Nutrition and Health in Washington advised “The goal should be to consume a balanced amount of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids”. She added "We should lower the intake of omega-6 rich oils such as corn oil, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed oil, including soybean," Dr. Simopoulos said. "Increase the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in our diet, which can be obtained from oils that are rich in omega-3s such as flaxseed oil, Canola oil."
For consumers, the subtle and shifting messages can be confusing. Dr. Bazinet advises reading labels carefully”. Like Simopoulos, he said “flax and canola are the safer options and people might want to stay away from the straight safflower, corn and sunflower oils that typically make up five per cent of purchases”.
In India, the most widely sold cooking oils like Safflower (Saffola), Soyabean, Sunflower, Cottonseed contain very high Omega-6 fats. It would be in the interest of the consumers to look at better options like Canola Oil that has high Omega-3 and the right ratio of Omega-3:6 ratio (1:2).
When we spoke to Dr. Anoop Mishra, HoD of Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, Fortis Hospital, he added “I would rate Canola Oil as no. 1 amongst all available cooking oils in India”. In a teleconversation with Jivo Wellness who are the largest sellers of Canola Oil in India we learnt that lakhs of consumers have been shifting to Canola Oil primarily due to the health benefits offered like lowest bad saturated fats, high Omega-3, best ratio of Omega-3:6. With rising medical costs, it is felt that Good health comes at a low cost if we use our choices carefully.