For more than 50 years, the Western diet has been rapidly changing. One key component that has been changing very quickly is the intake ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids. A healthy diet must contain both omega-6 and omega-3. However, instead of the ratio being within the recommended limits of 1:4 through 4:1 (source: Nutrition and Physical Degeneration) we are seeing ratios of 16:1 omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids. This increase in omega-6 to omega-3 ratio correlates with the increased incidence in Western civilizations of inflammatory diseases.
It is still unclear as to whether omega-3 fatty acids from fish or vegetable sources are more beneficial. But we do know that it is definitely better to get the omega-3 from food sources rather than supplements if possible. Most Americans and people from other Western countries do not get enough omega-3s from their diet. To maintain good health you should try to eat one rich source of omega-3 fatty acids per day. You can easily incorporate this into your daily meals by adding walnuts or flaxseed to your oatmeal in the morning or having a piece of salmon for lunch or dinner. If you do not eat breakfast and dislike fish you can use a salad dressing that contains flaxseed or canola oil.