Omega 3 to 6 Fat Ratios of All Plant Oils (TABLE)


There are a few reasons that you should generally limit the amount of oils you consume.

One of those reasons is that most oils have a terrible omega fat ratio. A poor ratio of these key unsaturated fats can lead to inflammation, which can increase the risk of several health conditions.

We’re going to look at the specific omega 3 to 6 fat ratios of just about all plant-based oils here.

Omega 3 to 6 Fat Ratio of Oils Table

All data in the table below comes from the USDA’s food database per 100 grams of each oil.

The fats don’t add up to 100 grams, even though oil is basically 100% fat in most cases, because these oils contain other types of fats as well (i.e. saturated, monounsaturated).

  Omega 3 (g) Omega 6 (g) Omega 3:6 ratio
Flaxseed Oil 53.4 14.3 3.7343
Canola Oil 7.45 17.8 0.4185
Hemp Seed Oil 16.6 60 0.2767
Walnut Oil 10.4 52.9 0.1966
Soybean Oil 6.62 50.9 0.1301
Olive Oil 0.651 8.4 0.0775
Avocado Oil 0.957 12.5 0.0766
Palm Oil 0.2 9.1 0.0220
Corn Oil 1.04 51.9 0.0200
Peanut Oil 0.318 19.6 0.0162
Coconut Oil 0.02 1.68 0.0119
Sunflower Oil 0.163 20.6 0.0079
Sesame Oil 0.3 41.3 0.0073
Grapeseed Oil 0.1 69.6 0.0014

In general, you want to aim for an omega 3 to 6 fat ratio of .25 or above.

Only 3 of those oils meet that minimum threshold. In some cases, like olive oil, there aren’t that many omega fats in total, so the poor ratio isn’t that big of a deal.

However, you wouldn’t want to be eating sesame or grapeseed oil in large quantities.

The Ideal Ratio of Omega Fats in Oils

While the effects of omega fats on our health is complex, the easiest way to look at what sort of intake you should aim for is to base it on historical consumption.

The graph below shows the relative levels of omega 3 and 6 fats in human diets over a large time span (source). You can see that people historically had a diet with an omega 3 to 6 fat ratio of about 0.5 to 1.

omega 3 to 6 fat history

The drastic worsening of the ratio and amount (of omega 6) recently isn’t due to people eating more seeds and nuts, it’s due to adding large amounts of oil while cooking almost everything.

It’s tough to balance out a large amount of omega 6 fats unless you regularly take an omega 3 fat supplement.


In practical terms, most people should look to limit their consumption of oils, and instead look to get omega 3 fats from seeds and fish (diet permitting).

Other Factors That Affect How Healthy An Oil Is

There are other aspects of oil that can affect your health, either negatively or positively.

One of the biggest aspects is how refined an oil is.

Oils are refined to remove impurities and free-fatty acids, which removes most of the nutritional benefit, but increases the shelf life and smoke point. 

Refining oils also leads to a more consistent color and lighter odor, which can be desirable for manufacturers.

It’s typically best to consume unrefined oil when not cooking it, however, unrefined oil isn’t always great for cooking.

Smoke Points of Oils

The main data we looked at above beg the question:

Should you only eat flaxseed oil?

While flaxseed oil is a great idea for raw foods, it’s a terrible cooking oil.

Unrefined oils generally have low smoke points. When an oil is heated above its smoke point, it begins to break down and form harmful compounds. These aren’t fully understood still, but even breathing in the fumes are linked to certain cancers

And obviously the oil can catch on fire as well (pro tip: smother grease fires with a lid, do not throw water on them.

Wikipedia has a great table of oil smoking points. I’ve reproduced part of it below for convenience:

Oil Quality Smoke Point (C) Smoke Point (F)
Avocado oil Refined 270 °C 520 °F
Canola oil (Rapeseed)   220–230 °C 428–446 °F
Canola oil (Rapeseed) Expeller press 190–232 °C 375–450 °F
Canola oil (Rapeseed) Refined 204 °C 400 °F
Canola oil (Rapeseed) Unrefined 107 °C 225 °F
Coconut oil Refined, dry 204 °C 400 °F
Coconut oil Unrefined, dry expeller pressed, virgin 177 °C 350 °F
Corn oil   230–238 °C 446–460 °F
Corn oil Unrefined 178 °C 352 °F
Flaxseed oil Unrefined 107 °C 225 °F
Grape seed oil   216 °C 421 °F
Olive oil Refined 199–243 °C 390–470 °F
Olive oil Virgin 210 °C 410 °F
Olive oil Extra virgin, low acidity, high quality 207 °C 405 °F
Olive oil Extra virgin 190 °C 374 °F
Olive oil Extra virgin 160 °C 320 °F
Palm oil Fractionated 235 °C 455 °F
Peanut oil Refined 232 °C 450 °F
Peanut oil   227–229 °C 441–445 °F
Peanut oil Unrefined 160 °C 320 °F
Sesame oil Unrefined 177 °C 350 °F
Sesame oil Semirefined 232 °C 450 °F
Soybean oil   234 °C 453 °F
Sunflower oil Neutralized, dewaxed, bleached & deodorized 252–254 °C 486–489 °F
Sunflower oil Semirefined 232 °C 450 °F
Sunflower oil   227 °C 441 °F
Sunflower oil Unrefined, first cold-pressed, raw 107 °C 225 °F

There are a few things of note:

  • Unrefined oils have significantly lower smoke points, making most of them unsuitable for anything other than low-heat cooking.
  • Extra virgin olive oil is minimally refined and has a reasonably high smoke point, so it’s a pretty good option for frying (not high temperature deep frying though).
  • Flaxseed oil has a smoke point of just over 100 Celsius, which is basically the temperature of a frying pan at low heat. In other words, it’s not a good idea to cook with flaxseed oil, despite its great omega 3 to 6 fat ratio.
  • Refined avocado or sunflower oil for higher temperature deep frying or high temperature searing.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. I've spent over 6 years as a freelance nutrition writer and researcher. During this time, I've tested over 50 vegan protein powders, and over 100 other types of vegan supplements.

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