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1:1 ratio now touted as new healthy omega 6/3 ratio...and seafood...and general ramblings and queries...

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 09, 2012 at 12:01 PM

If this is the new standard, rather than 4:1, and 2:1, then given meats are at best 2:1, does that mean that a healthy diet MUST include seeds and/or fish?

I have heard that ALA is not an ideal nutrient because its poorly converted (only about 10% is converted into longer chain omega-3's, which means you need 10x as much for the same effect). It also is primarily found in hard to digest foods like seeds and grasses..

That would seem to imply that our evolutionary diet and a healthy diet must include shellfish and seafood, being its the only omega 3 thats readily converted into useful chemicals..

And, if ALA is not even 1/10th as good as DHA etc, its possible this 1:1 ratio is a pile of BS being it doesnt make any distinction between EPA/DHA and the far less useful ALA!!!

I mean what we need to know is the ratio of specifically EPA/DHA to omega 6s that we need to be healthy...ie, how much fish or fish oil should we eat...(especially given that it seems like this 6/3 ratio is crap because it includes far less useful ALA as being equal to EPA/DHA, which it apparently isnt at all)

Lets just put ALA aside unless anyone to wants to eat a few kgs of seeds every day!

Clearly we can survive on omega 3s from other sources, like land animals and seeds, but if its so important, and poorly converted, it would imply that fish/shellfish/algae etc is the source we evolved to use.....so how much do I need to eat to get good health on a paleo diet....1 times a week? 2? three? half of my meat intake?

I mean if half or less of that "1:1" ratio is ALA, then the actual ratio if your eating fish would then be 2:1 or more...(it seems unlikely most people would even be eating half of there omega 3 from fish/seadfood, so that number could easily go back up to 4:1, or 8:1 if u are getting ur omega 3s from fish oil or seafood)

I regularly snack on tuna, eat shrimps and have the odd fish meal...but is that enough for this "ratio"...

I think I may try and get two meals a week of fatty fish.., of some low mercury species...

Confusing...anyone got any studies on omega-3/6 ratios that actually seperate DHA/EPA from ALA?

(And grr, alot of fish are high in mercury now, which is super bad if we actually require it for optimal health....)

BTW how the heck did all that mercury get into the ocean?

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on February 05, 2014
at 11:13 PM

Of course I am aware of the many shapes and forms our favorite fermentation vats take. But Cohen specifically states (and elaborates over several pages) that ruminants are (or were until extinct) by far the most calories per hour of work. Who works for less? Now or then?

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 05, 2014
at 06:08 PM

I doubt our ancestors, with the most advanced brain on the planet, would pass up such easy and efficient opportunities for food.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 05, 2014
at 06:05 PM

Exactly, running after an auroch or an antelope would be an extremely energy intensive and potentially dangerous task with a great deal of risk involved (injury, exhaustion, overheating, dehydration, etc) meanwhile grabbing a crab from the beach, picking some mussels off a rock, snatching some eggs from a nest, grabbing a slow moving turtle, or catching a small animal in a burrow (porcupine, rabbit, rat, etc) or even snatching a lizard from a branch would pose very little effort and risk while providing a great deal of nutrition in return.

Medium avatar

(624)

on February 05, 2014
at 03:41 PM

I have a hard time believing that in all the migrations and travels of ancient humans they always centered their diet around ruminants. Most wild ruminants are fast, agile, and quite dangerous to hunt (even for a tiger). Sure, they're big, meaty, delicious, and nutritious so he must have had some food preference but why wouldn't he catch the occasional duck, snake, lizard, or furry little wabbit? And certainly, if he saw something shiny and scaly swimming around in a creek or the tide pools, his predatory instincts must have kicked in. Though I haven't read said book... intuition speaks.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 05, 2014
at 03:00 PM

You know cows aren't the only ruminants out there right? Cattle, goats, sheep, giraffes, yaks, deer, camels, llamas, and antelope are all ruminants too. It's safe to say paleo man ate a bit of everything out there. I think a lot of Paleo folks are cow-obsessed, not that there's anything wrong with cow (I like a 20oz ribeye steak every now and then too), but some lamb, pork, and fish every now and then never hurt anyone. Variety is nice.

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on February 05, 2014
at 12:58 AM

Oh, let it go. If the steer has eaten only grass, it will not be affected. My mother gave me brains every week till age 6, and nothing happened. If in doubt, just eat pig or rabbit brains.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 05, 2014
at 12:08 AM

Yum, TSEs.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 04, 2014
at 02:36 PM

I up-voted to offset the down-vote, that was a good comment; funny but true. Pig brains are delicious.

47cbd166d262925037bc6f9a9265eb20

(55)

on February 04, 2014
at 08:44 AM

I don't want to bother you but ruminants contain EPA and DHA and most of their omega 3s may be EPA and DHA and DPA depending on what they are fed with:

www.intechopen.com/download/pdf/19989

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on October 19, 2012
at 12:16 AM

Why the downvote? C'mon, who else thought of brains as a DHA source?

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 19, 2012
at 12:14 AM

That's a good post, but his voice isn't the only one to consider. Dr. Bill Harris has more impressive credentials and endorses the AHA view that we should eat 5–10% of calories as O6, because some of them have anti-inflammatory properties, and he doesn't even have an O6:O3 recommendation that I've found. Even Chris Masterjohn notes that prior to the 1930's, Americans ate 15g of O6 daily.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 10, 2012
at 02:27 AM

I knew both of those things. But you raise a good point - are all omega 6s equally "bad"? Arachidonic acid for example is one of the prefered precursors for the endocannabinoid system in the NT anandamide, and is better as such, compared with linoleic acid which requires many more metabolic steps. Linoleic acid may be possibly be underutilized, like ALA. So, you do raise a good point...

276a5e631b62f8e0793987c0496364bb

(1644)

on June 10, 2012
at 01:23 AM

^ And EPA/DHA.

276a5e631b62f8e0793987c0496364bb

(1644)

on June 10, 2012
at 01:21 AM

It's ALA and EPA/DHA, actually. http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/food_and_agriculture/greener-pastures.pdf

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 10, 2012
at 01:01 AM

I knew both of those things. But you raise a good point - are all omega 6s equally "bad"? Arachidonic acid for example is one of the prefered precursors for the endocannabinoid system, and is better as such, compared with linoleic acid which requires many more metabolic steps. Linoleic acid may be possibly be underutilized, like ALA. So, you do raise a good point...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 10, 2012
at 12:58 AM

"IT sounds like you think there's only one omega 6 fat? There's linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, and GLA- those are the few that I'm familiar with. Also, grass fed ruminants contain ALA, not EPA or DHA." I knew both of those things. But you raise a good point - are all omega 6s equally "bad"? Arachidonic acid for example is one of the prefered precursors for the endocannabinoid system, and is better as such, compared with linoleic acid which requires many more metabolic steps. Linoleic acid may be possibly be underutilized, like ALA. From what I understand All omega 6's are not the same...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 10, 2012
at 12:56 AM

"IT sounds like you think there's only one omega 6 fat? There's linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, and GLA- those are the few that I'm familiar with. Also, grass fed ruminants contain ALA, not EPA or DHA." I knew both of those things. But you raise a good point - are all omega 6s equally "bad"? Arachidonic acid for example is one of the prefered precursors for the endocannabinoid system, and is far more bioavailable as such compared with linoleic acid which requires many more metabolic steps. From what I understand All omega 6's are not the same...

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 09, 2012
at 03:23 PM

There are long and short chain omega 6 and omega 3. There's ALA and there's EPA and DHA, most notably. There's also omega 6 arachidonic acid and omega 6 linolenic acid.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 09, 2012
at 03:21 PM

The omega 3 fat in grass fed ruminants is ALA.

7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on June 09, 2012
at 12:28 PM

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-does-mercury-get-into

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6 Answers

2
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on June 09, 2012
at 11:05 PM

Seafood isn't your only option. Take a cue from the zombies, brains are a great source long chain omega-3.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on October 19, 2012
at 12:16 AM

Why the downvote? C'mon, who else thought of brains as a DHA source?

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 04, 2014
at 02:36 PM

I up-voted to offset the down-vote, that was a good comment; funny but true. Pig brains are delicious.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 05, 2014
at 12:08 AM

Yum, TSEs.

2
13bd43b8673ebadec0afa4a9ec28273f

(20)

on June 09, 2012
at 06:25 PM

http://chriskresser.com/podcast-episode-ii-essential-fatty-acids-fish-and-fish-oil

Everything u ever wanted to know about omega 6 and 3

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 19, 2012
at 12:14 AM

That's a good post, but his voice isn't the only one to consider. Dr. Bill Harris has more impressive credentials and endorses the AHA view that we should eat 5–10% of calories as O6, because some of them have anti-inflammatory properties, and he doesn't even have an O6:O3 recommendation that I've found. Even Chris Masterjohn notes that prior to the 1930's, Americans ate 15g of O6 daily.

1
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on June 09, 2012
at 03:28 PM

"I mean what we need to know is the ratio of specifically EPA/DHA to omega 6s that we need to be healthy"

IT sounds like you think there's only one omega 6 fat? There's linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, and GLA- those are the few that I'm familiar with.

Also, grass fed ruminants contain ALA, not EPA or DHA.

Maybe ALA should be balanced with linoleic acid (short chains) and arachidonic acid should be balanced with EPA and DHA (preformed)

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 10, 2012
at 12:58 AM

"IT sounds like you think there's only one omega 6 fat? There's linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, and GLA- those are the few that I'm familiar with. Also, grass fed ruminants contain ALA, not EPA or DHA." I knew both of those things. But you raise a good point - are all omega 6s equally "bad"? Arachidonic acid for example is one of the prefered precursors for the endocannabinoid system, and is better as such, compared with linoleic acid which requires many more metabolic steps. Linoleic acid may be possibly be underutilized, like ALA. From what I understand All omega 6's are not the same...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 10, 2012
at 12:56 AM

"IT sounds like you think there's only one omega 6 fat? There's linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, and GLA- those are the few that I'm familiar with. Also, grass fed ruminants contain ALA, not EPA or DHA." I knew both of those things. But you raise a good point - are all omega 6s equally "bad"? Arachidonic acid for example is one of the prefered precursors for the endocannabinoid system, and is far more bioavailable as such compared with linoleic acid which requires many more metabolic steps. From what I understand All omega 6's are not the same...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 10, 2012
at 02:27 AM

I knew both of those things. But you raise a good point - are all omega 6s equally "bad"? Arachidonic acid for example is one of the prefered precursors for the endocannabinoid system in the NT anandamide, and is better as such, compared with linoleic acid which requires many more metabolic steps. Linoleic acid may be possibly be underutilized, like ALA. So, you do raise a good point...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 10, 2012
at 01:01 AM

I knew both of those things. But you raise a good point - are all omega 6s equally "bad"? Arachidonic acid for example is one of the prefered precursors for the endocannabinoid system, and is better as such, compared with linoleic acid which requires many more metabolic steps. Linoleic acid may be possibly be underutilized, like ALA. So, you do raise a good point...

1
276a5e631b62f8e0793987c0496364bb

(1644)

on June 09, 2012
at 03:15 PM

The modern H/G societies I've read about usually have a ratio around 1:2-1:4 n-3:n-6, not necessarily because they eat a lot of fish, but because they eat so little PUFA in general.

PUFA should be a relatively small % of your food energy.

0
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on February 04, 2014
at 11:35 PM

I am almost done reading Health and the Rise of Civilizations, and indeed, for as long as ruminants were abundant, the human diet was cow cow cow plus seasonal roots and fruits. Diversification (rabbits, lizards, fish) happened a relatively short time ago, on a time scale that is comparable with agriculture.

I am of two minds about "eat a varied diet". Certainly for vegetable foods, since they will always have some sort of toxin to discourage herbivory, you want to minimize the intake of any given nasty chemical. But if you have a well nourished cow, which had access to grass and a salt lick, you only need one cow to be healthy.

Medium avatar

(624)

on February 05, 2014
at 03:41 PM

I have a hard time believing that in all the migrations and travels of ancient humans they always centered their diet around ruminants. Most wild ruminants are fast, agile, and quite dangerous to hunt (even for a tiger). Sure, they're big, meaty, delicious, and nutritious so he must have had some food preference but why wouldn't he catch the occasional duck, snake, lizard, or furry little wabbit? And certainly, if he saw something shiny and scaly swimming around in a creek or the tide pools, his predatory instincts must have kicked in. Though I haven't read said book... intuition speaks.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 05, 2014
at 03:00 PM

You know cows aren't the only ruminants out there right? Cattle, goats, sheep, giraffes, yaks, deer, camels, llamas, and antelope are all ruminants too. It's safe to say paleo man ate a bit of everything out there. I think a lot of Paleo folks are cow-obsessed, not that there's anything wrong with cow (I like a 20oz ribeye steak every now and then too), but some lamb, pork, and fish every now and then never hurt anyone. Variety is nice.

0
Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 04, 2014
at 02:48 PM

Dude, stop stressing and just eat some sardines in olive oil, they're delicious. Smoked herring are also pretty good, you should try Polar Kippered Snacks, they taste like fish bacon. And eat some salmon. It's so easy to do and cheap too, canned fish are like one of the staples of my diet (I buy sardines in BPA free cans from BJ's wholesale club, but if I can't find the other fish in BPA free cans, I don't stress it). Paleo doesn't just mean cow/cow/cow/cow/cow + omega 3 pill, have some variety, eat all kinds of fish, mammals, birds, mollusks, reptiles, amphibians, etc.

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