6

votes

Might Cooking Be Skewing the Fatty Acid Ratios of the Meat We Eat?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 10, 2011 at 12:10 AM

I was staring at my steak earlier (as I often do) and I started to think about the fat around the edge and it struck me that it would almost certainly be largely saturated. I then got to thinking about the relative melting/boiling points of saturated vs unsaturated fats and it stuck me that grilling a steak would very likely result in a lot of the unsaturated fats running off.

I dug up a study that seems to agree with my gut feeling:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889157598906007

Couldn't tell you what the actual amounts were.

So, here we are patting ourselves on the back for eating grass-fed meats, perhaps shunning any sort of additional source of n-3 (or n-6 for that matter)fats, but what if, after cooking, we're left with mostly saturated fat? I don't think this fat is unhealthy per se, but I doubt that we would thrive to the same extent as it we were eating more monounsaturated, n-3 and n-6 fats in addition to it. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a defense of conventionally raised meats, because there's a lot more to it than simply unsaturated fat ratios/content. I personally wouldn't consider switching back. Additionally, I don't really advocate eating raw meat, though some swear by it. If someone can consistently source safe meat and eat it raw, they may have an advantage, at least inasmuch as fatty acids are concerned.

That all being said, I think one viable solution could simply be to eat a range of nuts. Macadamia and hazelnuts are skewed heavily toward monounsaturated fat, while walnuts are skewed toward n-6 (let's not forget that n-6 is an essential fatty acid, in spite of the extent to which it is maligned by the paleo community). You'll get some n-3 from the walnuts, but if you relied upon them solely for the polyunsaturates, you'd have a heavy skewing toward n-6. If you can eat them raw without ill-effects, then that is very likely optimal. I don't think the PUFAs would run off of roasted nuts to the same extent as meat, however.

As much as I hate to admit it, fish oil might be a good idea to get n-3s after all. I suspect that cooked fish has the same problem as cooked beef, so we may be leaving all of the salmon's n-3s in the bottom of the pan. I'm not sure if the advertised amounts of EPA/DHA on the sardine boxes are for raw or processed fish, or if the latter, if it still just runs off when we drain them. I don't how practical it would be to rely upon sushi for one's n-3, but if you did, you'd probably want to focus on wild salmon (sake) and mackerel (saba).

Marrow is also a dense source of monounsaturated fat, and I suspect that hominids had an extensive period where we ate little meat but a lot of marrow and brains (a dense source of 22:6 n-3) from carcasses that other predators killed. I eat a small amount of marrow with my steaks, and since it starts out 60-something% MUFA, I doubt there's much lost in cooking, as it appears to be the same volume afterward. I could see me pursuing a human-grade equivalent of those cow femur marrow bone rings that one might give their dog if I'd like to more MUFAs. Avocados are clearly a great source of MUFAs as well. As for brains, no thanks.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on August 11, 2011
at 02:56 PM

mmmmmm, raw ammonia-soaked sludge. nuthin feels better! p.s. If you want a user's website, they often post it on their profile page. click their name. :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 10, 2011
at 04:11 PM

never have been as yet. Nothing feels better than rawest of the raw ground beef!

485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

(2191)

on August 10, 2011
at 03:23 PM

I really don't understand why more people don't broil as opposed to pan frying. The meat is cooked by fire, which one would think would be closer to how it was first done, tastes great, and it's so fast and easy.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on August 10, 2011
at 02:24 PM

that's how i cook all my steaks. quick broil. (because we don't have a bbq)

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on August 10, 2011
at 02:23 PM

PersonMan - Quilt already answered that question for you. As for eating raw grain fed conventional ground beef, you are even more insane that I pegged you for. I would NEVER ever do that. NEVER. Maaaaaaaaaaybe a raw grain fed conventional beef steak. But that's only if I was in the wilderness, and otherwise starving (which I'm assuming may be applicable here for you). Have you seen Food Inc? Dude, seriously... SCREW the pufa argument. You need to watch out for the nasties. Those operations are super jenky and you could get very sick from that.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 10, 2011
at 02:00 PM

P.S: quilt: reveal your website!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 10, 2011
at 02:00 PM

But as far as I know there is only 3 grams of PUFAs in 100 grams of beef fat? Surely that can't amount to much even if it were all O-6. As trashcan said: costyly, and difficult to get grass-fed that isn't "lean". If its lean and I require(or desire) a certain amount of calories per day I will have to find an alternative source for fat....such as butcher's trimmings and these are grain-fed. May as well kill two costly birds with one stone and go for the grain-fed. Hows' bout cheese? I heard the ratio is 1:1 for PUFAs(o-6:0-3)

Medium avatar

(39831)

on August 10, 2011
at 04:27 AM

Yeah, I should consider doing that. I'm so accustomed to eating steaks, but I guess I could even broil those in a pan.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on August 10, 2011
at 03:32 AM

your RCT is on your testosterone and O6/O3 ratio......instead of waiting for you johnson to fail......take some free advice test and your eyes will open.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on August 10, 2011
at 03:28 AM

@Trashcan - grain fed beef has much less n-3 than grass-fed. http://www.nutritionj.com/content/9/1/10/table/T2 -- and you don't need a long-term study of beef-eaters to tell you that unfavorable PUFA ratios aren't good for you. ---- @Personman - raw, ground, factory-farmed meat is a bacterial crap-shoot, and not everybody is a gambler. sounds like you're winning so far - congrats & buena suerte.

485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

(2191)

on August 10, 2011
at 02:19 AM

I've also been eating grain-fed meat and the johnson hasn't shriveled. Grass-fed may be better, but the producers take advantage of us and I simply can't afford it. Until I see the controlled, clinical, long term study comparing paleos eating both ways, I'll take my chances.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on August 10, 2011
at 02:00 AM

On freezing, here's the second answer I ever gave on PH, similar to yours, and Matthew seems to have some evidence to the contrary. http://paleohacks.com/questions/8103/eating-raw-ground-beef-grass-fed/8124#8124

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on August 10, 2011
at 01:35 AM

nope. go get you 6/3 ratio and watch your johnson shrivel......no shit either

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on August 10, 2011
at 01:34 AM

totally with you here.....plus one

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3 Answers

5
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 10, 2011
at 01:45 AM

I eat a lot of my meat raw, but when I don't I almost never throw away any juices. That's exactly what vegetables like mushrooms, which absorb liquid, are for. Delicious and nutritious.

I don't think there is much risk eating recently-thawed previously frozen raw grassfed meat.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on August 10, 2011
at 02:00 AM

On freezing, here's the second answer I ever gave on PH, similar to yours, and Matthew seems to have some evidence to the contrary. http://paleohacks.com/questions/8103/eating-raw-ground-beef-grass-fed/8124#8124

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 10, 2011
at 01:19 AM

I am consuming 1 lb. of grain-fed, raw, ground hamburger meat each day and have been for two months(50 lbs. in the fridge to go). Surely the 'grass-fed'/anti-grain emphasis is overrated?

485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

(2191)

on August 10, 2011
at 02:19 AM

I've also been eating grain-fed meat and the johnson hasn't shriveled. Grass-fed may be better, but the producers take advantage of us and I simply can't afford it. Until I see the controlled, clinical, long term study comparing paleos eating both ways, I'll take my chances.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 10, 2011
at 02:00 PM

But as far as I know there is only 3 grams of PUFAs in 100 grams of beef fat? Surely that can't amount to much even if it were all O-6. As trashcan said: costyly, and difficult to get grass-fed that isn't "lean". If its lean and I require(or desire) a certain amount of calories per day I will have to find an alternative source for fat....such as butcher's trimmings and these are grain-fed. May as well kill two costly birds with one stone and go for the grain-fed. Hows' bout cheese? I heard the ratio is 1:1 for PUFAs(o-6:0-3)

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on August 10, 2011
at 01:35 AM

nope. go get you 6/3 ratio and watch your johnson shrivel......no shit either

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on August 10, 2011
at 03:28 AM

@Trashcan - grain fed beef has much less n-3 than grass-fed. http://www.nutritionj.com/content/9/1/10/table/T2 -- and you don't need a long-term study of beef-eaters to tell you that unfavorable PUFA ratios aren't good for you. ---- @Personman - raw, ground, factory-farmed meat is a bacterial crap-shoot, and not everybody is a gambler. sounds like you're winning so far - congrats & buena suerte.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 10, 2011
at 02:00 PM

P.S: quilt: reveal your website!

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on August 10, 2011
at 03:32 AM

your RCT is on your testosterone and O6/O3 ratio......instead of waiting for you johnson to fail......take some free advice test and your eyes will open.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 10, 2011
at 04:11 PM

never have been as yet. Nothing feels better than rawest of the raw ground beef!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on August 11, 2011
at 02:56 PM

mmmmmm, raw ammonia-soaked sludge. nuthin feels better! p.s. If you want a user's website, they often post it on their profile page. click their name. :)

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on August 10, 2011
at 02:23 PM

PersonMan - Quilt already answered that question for you. As for eating raw grain fed conventional ground beef, you are even more insane that I pegged you for. I would NEVER ever do that. NEVER. Maaaaaaaaaaybe a raw grain fed conventional beef steak. But that's only if I was in the wilderness, and otherwise starving (which I'm assuming may be applicable here for you). Have you seen Food Inc? Dude, seriously... SCREW the pufa argument. You need to watch out for the nasties. Those operations are super jenky and you could get very sick from that.

2
485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

on August 10, 2011
at 01:38 AM

I broil my meat, so I reclaim the lost fat by pouring the "juice" back onto my plate and the meat soaks it up or I mop it up.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on August 10, 2011
at 04:27 AM

Yeah, I should consider doing that. I'm so accustomed to eating steaks, but I guess I could even broil those in a pan.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on August 10, 2011
at 02:24 PM

that's how i cook all my steaks. quick broil. (because we don't have a bbq)

485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

(2191)

on August 10, 2011
at 03:23 PM

I really don't understand why more people don't broil as opposed to pan frying. The meat is cooked by fire, which one would think would be closer to how it was first done, tastes great, and it's so fast and easy.

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