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is the omega-6 in meat really as bad as that in veg oil?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 27, 2012 at 4:31 PM

We all try to reduce omega-6 aka (n-6), and often measure this in percentage of total calories or grams per day. For example, trying to limit omega-6 to less than 2% of calories. But should we also be considering the source of the omega-6?

I don't pretend to understand all the chemistry behind it, but it seems to me that the n-6 in a roast chicken (esp. if it was pastured), or in bacon, is less likely to be oxidized or otherwise start out in an unhealthy form prior to being eaten, when compared to processed vegetable oils. Is there any scientific -- even epidemiological -- evidence that n-6 from meat, or even raw nuts, is as pro-inflammatory as that from refined oils?

(In some ways I trust my leftover bacon grease more than the supposedly cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil in my cupboard -- the former I actually watched the oil dripping out, whereas the latter I have to trust the labels!)

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 27, 2012
at 05:49 PM

Good point and as to O6 nuts are also a good example of a whole food being packaged with the necessary nutrients (vitamin E and minerals) to counteract what negative effects O6 alone may cause.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on September 27, 2012
at 04:45 PM

Yeah I doubt it's very bad and think it's not worth worrying over provided you don't only eat chicken wings and thighs, but also eat other animals too.

4147ff909047dad96c488821430a8731

(50)

on September 27, 2012
at 04:32 PM

I never believed it when the powers that be told us to avoid egg yolks or butter; in the same way I feel I should take a 'restrict chicken' message with a grain of salt.

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2 Answers

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4
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on September 27, 2012
at 05:14 PM

An avocado, a piece of chicken, and corn oil all have omega-6s, but equating them seems a bit myopic. Often I think paleo folk paint omega-6s with a too broad brush. Source and quality does matter! Whole foods tend to be packaged with their own anti-oxidants to protect the fat. Isolated vegetable oils are purified from these antioxidants to produce clear, neutral-flavored oils, which also happens to leave them vulnerable to oxidation.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 27, 2012
at 05:49 PM

Good point and as to O6 nuts are also a good example of a whole food being packaged with the necessary nutrients (vitamin E and minerals) to counteract what negative effects O6 alone may cause.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 27, 2012
at 04:43 PM

Orders of magnitude here. I absolutely do not believe that we should be eating pounds and pounds of chicken wings and dark meat. I mean really if you have to because you are poor and it is cheap then go for it. But I think buying whole chickens with liver and all the other good bits is the way to do it. Balance is much easier that way.

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