Balancing Your Fats and Oils: A Summary
For optimum cell membrane function you need to maximize the essential fatty acid content of your diet, balance your omega-3 and omega-6 sources, minimize saturated fatty acid content and eliminate trans fats. Flax seed oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids because it is relatively inexpensive compared to fish oil, it will not contain traces of contaminants such as mercury and other food chain toxins, and it will not contain lipid peroxides (if it does you will know by the bad taste and you won't accidentally use it).
When you use flax seed oil you need to be especially careful that you observe the ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids present in your diet. These fatty acids need to be present in equal amounts ideally, or perhaps in a ration of one omega-3 to four omega-6 fatty acids. This is important if flax seed oil is to be properly utilized as a source of omega-3 fatty acids. It is also important for the effect that it will have upon inflammatory and non-inflammatory prostaglandins in the body.
Please read the articles on trans fats in the health and nutrition for more information on these toxic fatty acids. Eliminating trans fats is not as simple as just reading labels. Modern oil and food processing techniques routinely damage oils. Many foods and oils contain trans fats and otherwise damaged fats even when they are labeled as being trans fats free. I am not completely sure of the reason for this, but I can assure you, eliminating damaging oils from your diet requires gaining some understanding of how oils and fats are affected by processing.
Gordon, Garry, M.D., D.O., M.D.(H.), Herb Joiner-Bey, N.D.(2004).The Omega-3 Miracle. Freedom Press, Topanga, CA
Murray, T. N.D. and Jade Beutler, R.R.T., R.C.P.,(1996). Understanding Fats & Oils, Progressive Health Publishing, Encinitas, CA.