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Omega 6 balance

Commented on April 23, 2014
Created April 20, 2014 at 3:50 PM

How solid is the evidence behind omega 3-6 balance and it's importance?

It seems to me unrealistically difficult to get a good balance from whole foods, even when consciously attempting to limit 06. I don't even hit 1/5 ratio without supplementing. One would need to consume fish every day and minimize O6 to even hit the lower end of recommended and even in that instance I would have a hard time getting Vitamin E as the only significant source seems to be nuts which are very omega 6 heavy.

So the question is, how can the ratio recommendations be consistent with the paleo philosophy if it's not really possible to hit the ratio with real foods and realistic diets?

Bonus question: How can I get good amounts of vitamin E without nuts? Seems I need to either consume nuts or quite large amounts of very specific veggies and even then it's barely hitting the mark.

- Context -

With other things like Vitamin D or A or Magnesium even though it can commonly recommended to supplement, all of those things have realistic ways of being obtained without supplementation. ( Sun, liver, carrots, decent soil )

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 23, 2014
at 08:33 PM

If I'm reading that right, it says it can be supplemented by red palm or OR the optimal supplement would be one with mixed vitamin E. ( They are not saying red palm oil is an ideal supplement )

But with supplementing 1 tbsp a week it really would not help you hit the RDA.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on April 23, 2014
at 08:20 PM

(Perfect Health Diet recommends Red Palm Oil for vitamin E. -- http://perfecthealthdiet.com/recommended-supplements/ this is listed as optional and taken at a single tablespoon on a weekly basis.)

I haven't made up my mind yet about Krill oil. But that has some good choline in it and omega's.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on April 23, 2014
at 08:16 PM

For those with egg sensitivities (myself included), how do you suggest raising choline to acceptable limits? (I don't do well with lots of eggs, where I attempt to tackle this by eating liver / scallops / chicken / turkey every week, and eggs a few times a week. That's about the max I can do short of supplementing. I have considered looking into phosphatidylcholine. For a while when I was taking lots of racetams, I supplemented choline citrate / alpha GPC. But I feel like meat hooks me up naturally these days.)

Add up 3 plates of veg and daily seafood and look at the E.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 23, 2014
at 07:45 PM

Good point about the rivers thing.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 23, 2014
at 07:43 PM

Not trying to be mean but I think you have a really bad understanding of nutrition, or else know something I don't.

I would need to eat 3oz of liver every day to meet choline requirements. ( probably very dangerous..)

The palm oil is maybe a good idea, can't actually find much nutrition information on it. ( It doesnt have any pufas? ) But I would need to take 2-3Tbsps a day as each tbsp provides 15-25% from what I can tell. Not really much a difference between supplementing, taking that much palm oil. Not even trying to 'jack up' amounts...barely reaching the rda would be nice.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on April 23, 2014
at 07:28 PM

Choline from pastured liver, once a week. Seafood / red palm oil for the E. Or take an E supplement if you really want to jack it up there.

I excluded all the daily vegetables / herbs (I do 3 plates a day), which further push E higher.

You have to look at a full week's tracking data to assess your micros.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 23, 2014
at 07:22 PM

One of the main points of the OP is that it's hard to get significant amounts of vitamin E without nuts...forcing you to up the O6.

I also don't think 1oz of nuts could be considered 'extreme'.

If I removed all the nuts and eggs from my diet, and included fish 2x a week I could get under 1/5, but then I'm getting 50% of the RDI in choline and vitamin E which really isn't acceptable and they are some of the only foods that supply sufficient amounts of those nutrients.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on April 23, 2014
at 07:16 PM

If you don't have plumbing and bottled water, you're liking going to live near a river or stream. Fish city. Check out the inuit diet. I like Japan, as that's similar to the diet I eat. But, if I filled out that cronometer data with seafood, you guys would go "whoa, no one eats that much seafood."

You can't shop at Costco and complain that your omega 6 is looking high, haha.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on April 23, 2014
at 07:14 PM

My bad, I did 2oz in a day. Almonds every single day of the week seems a little extreme to me.

The rule is generally sub 5:1 for a grassfed animal. Often, closer to 3:1. Google should have plenty of data on it.

For months, I did zero nuts and seeds. Lately, I do lots of walnuts / hemp / macadamia with a flaxseed salad dressing. I didn't include these, as they improve the ratio and I was trying to be more realistic for the average person.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 23, 2014
at 07:11 PM

Pretty sure his data is incomplete or flawed...the nutrient profile looks really really off.

And yea...fake data from a weeks worth of incomplete foods mixed with 2 oz total of nuts...hmm.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 23, 2014
at 07:08 PM

first sentence of the post you are replying to...

"

I've seen it argued that people in the past ate fish as a staple of their diet,

but that couldn't have been true in a ton of cases over human history

"

How does making a statement that people on an island eat a lot of fish relevant?

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 23, 2014
at 07:04 PM

Yea...nice...

/palm

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 23, 2014
at 06:38 PM

WHOA whoa whoa... You said 2 oz nuts eaten per day but you logged 2 oz total for the hypothetical "week" plus you didn't log a complete diet, just a few sample foods with relatively good omega ratios. Also, where'd you get your data for pastured meat and eggs? I want some data!

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 23, 2014
at 06:29 PM

I'm looking at an average of the past 7 days of tedious food logging on cronometer.com. However, what may skew things is that my food choices, not to mention the bits and pieces I tend to eat, are probably more healthy than whatever sample was originally tested to get their nutrition data...

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on April 23, 2014
at 06:03 PM

In Japan, fish / seafood is your main source of meat, eaten just about every day.

http://www.academia.edu/888965/Fish_remains_from_three_Upper_Palaeolithic_cave_deposits_in_southern_Belgium

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on April 23, 2014
at 05:52 PM

Here's a sub 4:1 ratio, with 2 oz of nuts eaten in a day, with fish eaten a couple times in a week.

http://i.imgur.com/g3BzwN2.png

(Actually, the ratio would be even better, because cronometer isn't providing any omega tracking for those eggs, where if they were fed fish/coconut, it would be 1:1 on them. Also, those are 9oz salmon fillets, where 12oz would put you on the one.) 3.8:1 is very realistic if you're on top of it.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on April 23, 2014
at 05:48 PM

http://i.imgur.com/8VA8PjK.png - 3.8 ratio with 2oz of almonds, before I add in all the vegetables, extra seafood, and flaxseed salad dressing.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 23, 2014
at 05:35 PM

-- Tangent --

I've seen it argued that people in the past ate fish as a staple of their diet, but that couldn't have been true in a ton of cases over human history. So is this something we just have to suck up and supplement or eat a diet skewed towards fish or are the numbers off or being overblown?

I'm not a scientist and know almost nothing about this, may just be wishful thinking. Doesn't really seem to add up to me though intuitively.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 23, 2014
at 05:34 PM

Feel like the numbers don't back up the rhetoric on this one, 'eat fish a couple times a week and you will be fine'. While that may be true that you will 'be fine', you certainly won't hit the ratios that the movement deems as 'fine'. ( 1/1 - 1/5 )

God forbid you lose your mind and eat 2 oz of nuts a day...

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on April 23, 2014
at 05:27 PM

It really averages out over the week, imo. On a daily view, you might be seeing a skewed view of things. I do double that in olive oil most days.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on April 23, 2014
at 05:24 PM

3 grams per day...? Psh... I'm doing 60grams, easily, most days, haha.

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 23, 2014
at 05:24 PM

I don't eat a whole lot of beef or other muscle meat because the protein is too high in lycine, metinoine, etc... but when I do it's usually grass fed/pastured. So about half my meats are pastured, most of my eggs are "cage free" or whatever... I may actually be getting a better PUFA profile than my logging suggests since I can't put that into cronometer.com... Still though, the total PUFA's are a lot higher than some seem to think they should be and I go further out of my way than most to avoid them. I love avocados though...

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 23, 2014
at 05:21 PM

hmm an ounce of OO has about 3 grams of n6. It seems to add up as I usually get about that per day if not more. That's almost 1/3 of my total n6.

I try to get cage free chicken but it's tough to source/verify here in the suburbs. I mostly eat drumsticks and thighs for the extra vitamin K2, etc... and avoid white meat. Pork I often order from raincrow ranch but it's not rarely feasible or affordable to source/verify pastured pork in the suburbs. I'd say 90% of my eggs are labeled "cage free" or "free range" but, again, I didn't visit the farm (anyone know the lowdown on Costco eggs?)

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on April 23, 2014
at 04:34 PM

I find that olive oil doesn't really throw off the ratio too bad. And I eat a ton of EVOO. The ratio might look heavy over the course of a day, but all the grassfed meat / oil and a little bit of seafood over the week pulls it under 5:1, easily. (Granted, I average over 90g/d of grassfed protein and 200g of fats and eat lots of seafood / veg.)

I don't see chicken / pork as a slam of o6. If you get the grain-free pastured chicken, you're at a 3:1 ratio.

Maybe you're substituting too much animal protein / fat for plant protein / fat and tracking grain-fed meat?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on April 23, 2014
at 03:23 PM

I'll elaborate if it will make you at least ambivalent about me. :)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on April 23, 2014
at 03:18 PM

Ambivalence is all I ask!

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on April 22, 2014
at 05:20 PM

Imo, we're only arguing over the extent to which you optimize your ratio. You can decrease the n-6 down to a point, but I can get mine down to < 3:1 if I want, with thoughtful meat, fruit, vegetable, nuts, and seed selection without supplementation. I find sub 5:1 around the sweet spot, which isn't going to be possible without consuming foods that contain greater supplies of 3 against 6. Fatty fish on a weekly basis makes this effort much easier. If I recall, Jaminet's take is to reduce your n-6 as much as possible, then get your fishing on until you're happy with the ratio.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 22, 2014
at 05:18 PM

Don't worry, I am still ambivalent towards you

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 22, 2014
at 05:18 PM

I disagree. it is very clear that increasing O3 without reducing O6 is not a good idea.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on April 22, 2014
at 05:05 PM

It's pretty difficult to lower the magnitude of n-6 from meat and dairy. The answer is consuming products with an increased amount of O3 (try cronometer.com with CAFO meats vs pastured.) You see this sort of thing with pregnant women who eat fish vs those who don't, where fish consumption is practically nature's omega-3 supplement. You're not going to lower the n-6 in nuts, but you can choose to eat nuts and seeds with greater n-3. Walnuts have one of the greatest n-6 in nuts, but with the extra n-3, you reach a decent ratio.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18779297

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 22, 2014
at 04:45 PM

I think the missing point is that it appears that O6 magnitude is more important. i.e. reducing O6 to get to a decent O3:O6 is the appropraite mitigation -- increasing O3 is not.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 22, 2014
at 03:45 PM

I don't like you.

It's not obvious and you are completely skimming over the point of the post and the question. Not sure if unintentionally or if you're just trying to be a...

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on April 22, 2014
at 03:23 PM

I'm looking at a blogspot article with a single reference... and that reference is for "High-Fat-Diet Induced Obesity development", in which they found supplemental ALA was a poor therapy for obese / type II diabetics. (High-fat-diet induced obesity?)

I'm into the o3:o6 balance for optimal health, not to lose weight on a diet that doesn't make one obese to begin with.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24669767

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23659447

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23902952

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23824723

etc.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 21, 2014
at 11:39 PM

Look at the chart of grain-fed beef to vegetable oil: http://healthcorrelator.blogspot.com/2010/09/low-omega-6-to-omega-3-ratio-grain-fed.html. That comparrison is one pound of beef to 1 tbsp vegetable oil.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on April 21, 2014
at 11:30 PM

Balance of fats, processing… Not obvious?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 21, 2014
at 10:50 PM

The chicken comes with 10g of meat in addition to that pufa

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 21, 2014
at 10:49 PM

O3:O6 ratio is of second order.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 21, 2014
at 09:11 PM

What would be the difference between 1g of pufa from chicken and 1g of pufa from vegetable oil?

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 21, 2014
at 04:54 PM

This is my whole point, I'm not really eating anything high in O6. Most of my O6 comes from the 1oz of almonds I eat each day and the 3 eggs I eat ( 6 grams ). The rest comes from Msc foods, .7g in beef, .7g in chicken, ect..

3e710fab7063494ce6010566704764ed

(15)

on April 21, 2014
at 04:32 PM

what are you eating that is so high in O6s? Its not impossible unless you think giving up some of your foods is impossible.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on April 21, 2014
at 04:29 PM

You might want to play around on cronometer.com, looking at a whole week's average. (Be sure that all your meats entered are pastured.) I'm thinking a full salmon fillet, twice a week (although, with the increasingly polluted oceans / rivers, this could be sub-optimal.) It's a lot of protein, but with exercise it can all be put to good use. 4:1 - 5:1 might be more realistic.

You want Red Palm oil from the fruit, as opposed to palm oil / palm kernel oil. It's an oil that can be produced unsustainably, so you want to shop for the brands that are more environmentally conscious.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 21, 2014
at 04:26 PM

Hmm, not sure what to make of this.

They note the only significant difference was between the 20:1 and 1:! ( was positive results ) but they also said that the diets they fed the mice did not == high fish diet as they did not use the proper types of fats.

So...there was a positive result in spite of the fact they use the wrong fats, but it was marginal except when comparing the two extremes?

So how should this affect humans diet choices?

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 21, 2014
at 03:15 PM

How much fish and what do you consider a couple? ( 2? )

I get like 8-12grams O6 and 1g O3 ( no fish ). A 6oz serving of omega 3 rich fish would be like 2 grams of O3, even eating that every day I might barely get to 1:3, if I was to only eat fish 2x a week I would need to eat quite a bit more...

I will check out the Palm oil for E though, thanks. ^^

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4 Answers

0
Medium avatar

on April 22, 2014
at 05:23 PM

I'm actually in roughly the same boat as the OP.

Ever since going paleo I've bordered on obsession with my n6:n3 ratios + total PUFA levels and yet find it nearly impossible to approach 1:1 or even 4:1 with a whole foods diet unless nearly all my animal flesh comes from oily fish. Also, my total PUFA is usually 10+ grams, sometimes like 20, and fish just adds more highly oxidizable PUFAs!

Most days where my PUFA is far under 10 it's because I didn't eat much fat. My almost-daily egg yolks are a big hit, the occasional pork or chicken a slam of n6, and dare I throw in a few almonds and an avocado I'm out of the ballpark... Then you have the trace amounts in olive oil and other paleo staples which really adds up on a high fat diet. I think you'd have to eat 80% of your meat in the form of beef, preferably grass fed and expensive, then limit eggs, avocado, nuts, and olive oil more than I already do...

5:1 might be reasonable but still requires considerable diligence and chronic avoidance of seemingly healthy whole foods...

I'm starting to lay off and just make sure I get enough omega 3 and don't eat industrial seed oils or other super-concentrated n6 sources. I can't be eating $10 steaks and $10 wild-caught salmon fillets all the time. I eat mostly plants and just a bit of quality meat.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on April 23, 2014
at 04:34 PM

I find that olive oil doesn't really throw off the ratio too bad. And I eat a ton of EVOO. The ratio might look heavy over the course of a day, but all the grassfed meat / oil and a little bit of seafood over the week pulls it under 5:1, easily. (Granted, I average over 90g/d of grassfed protein and 200g of fats and eat lots of seafood / veg.)

I don't see chicken / pork as a slam of o6. If you get the grain-free pastured chicken, you're at a 3:1 ratio.

Maybe you're substituting too much animal protein / fat for plant protein / fat and tracking grain-fed meat?

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on April 21, 2014
at 08:52 PM

There's little need for obsession over ratios. If you eat healthy fats (of any variety: saturated, MUFA, omega-3, omega-6…), you're doing good. Eat whole foods, not processed foods. Eat whole foods, not food isolates.

Chicken fat may be high in PUFA, but it is not corn oil. Pork might have some PUFA, but it is not canola oil.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 21, 2014
at 09:11 PM

What would be the difference between 1g of pufa from chicken and 1g of pufa from vegetable oil?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 21, 2014
at 10:50 PM

The chicken comes with 10g of meat in addition to that pufa

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 21, 2014
at 03:33 PM

http://suppversity.blogspot.com/2014/04/no-magic-numbers-omega-3omega-6-n3n6.html

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 21, 2014
at 10:49 PM

O3:O6 ratio is of second order.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on April 22, 2014
at 03:23 PM

I'm looking at a blogspot article with a single reference... and that reference is for "High-Fat-Diet Induced Obesity development", in which they found supplemental ALA was a poor therapy for obese / type II diabetics. (High-fat-diet induced obesity?)

I'm into the o3:o6 balance for optimal health, not to lose weight on a diet that doesn't make one obese to begin with.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24669767

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23659447

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23902952

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23824723

etc.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 21, 2014
at 04:26 PM

Hmm, not sure what to make of this.

They note the only significant difference was between the 20:1 and 1:! ( was positive results ) but they also said that the diets they fed the mice did not == high fish diet as they did not use the proper types of fats.

So...there was a positive result in spite of the fact they use the wrong fats, but it was marginal except when comparing the two extremes?

So how should this affect humans diet choices?

0
Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on April 21, 2014
at 04:59 AM

I don't find an ideal Omega-3:6 ratio all that difficult to achieve. If you eat fatty fish a couple times a week, you're starting at a surplus of 3 against 6. If you eat grass-fed animals, the ratio starts to hit 1:1. You throw in some coconut oil, butter ghee, and tallow, and you're still at an optimal ratio. Olive / avocado oil, nuts, and seeds drags you down a bit, although, macadamia nut oil has a 1:1 ratio, and hemp oil is a 2:1 - 3:1 ratio of 6 to 3.

It looks like anything in the 5:1 and under is ideal. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12442909

From some rough tracking, I seem to come in at 3:1 - 4:1 most weeks.

For the vitamin E, check out red palm oil. (Vitamin E comes in 8 isomers.) CoQ10 helps to recycle E.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 21, 2014
at 03:15 PM

How much fish and what do you consider a couple? ( 2? )

I get like 8-12grams O6 and 1g O3 ( no fish ). A 6oz serving of omega 3 rich fish would be like 2 grams of O3, even eating that every day I might barely get to 1:3, if I was to only eat fish 2x a week I would need to eat quite a bit more...

I will check out the Palm oil for E though, thanks. ^^

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