Omega-3, 6 and 9

There are two essential fats that the body has to have for the health of every cell in the body but can’t make for itself so we have to get it from our food, these are omega-3 and omega-6; omega-9 is not called an essential fat because although our bodies need it we can make it from other foods whenever we need it.

Page contents


Omega-3 in nature comes from grass-fed animals, especially their brains, eyeballs, testes, bone marrow and various other parts that we tend not to eat anymore.  The meat and other animal-protein sources we eat tends to come from animals which have been fed largely or entirely not on grass but on maize, sunflower and cereals which don’t contain omega-3 but are high in omega-6.   This is why Johanna Budwig considered the Western diet to be 80% deficient in omega-3.

The source of the omega-3 essential fatty acid on the Budwig Diet is the linseed (flaxseed) oil which is about 50-60% omega-3 and the ground linseed which is 25% omega-3.

Omega-3 is the anti-inflammatory fat in the diet, it is also healing.

There has been a lot of research done to try to prove fish oils are a superior source of omega-3 but Johanna Budwig believed this is not the case.  Dr George Jelinek, author of Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis recommends large amounts of linseed (flax seed) oil on his maintenance program says he can’t find evidence that fish oils are superior.


Most people in the West have far too much omega-6 in their diet.  It comes from virtually every fat, oil, meat, cereal and we eat.  Sunflower, corn, maize and safflower oil are the richest sources but olive oil is a significant source   It is the inflammatory component of our diets and is avoided on the Budwig diet; it is considered there is sufficient for health from the linseed and vegetables and nuts in the rest of the diet.


Omega-9 is made by the body when it needs it which is why it is not an “essential fat”.  The richest source is olive oil, but rape seed, grape seed and many other vegetable oils as well as meats contain significant quantities.   Omega-9 although neutral, it is neither inflammatory nor anti-inflammatory, compromises our ability to metabolise correctly the essential fats, especially omega-3.  Olive oil and other omega-9 rich oils are not included on the Budwig diet.

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" – Hippocrates