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Which is more important/effective? Keeping PUFAs total low

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 18, 2010 at 8:16 PM

with a low O6:O3 ratio or getting lots of O3 with a low O6:O3 ratio, even if it means eating more total PUFAs including total O6 gms?

Some factors: I'm in peri-menopause, prediabetic, and with a lifelong history of depression (that runs in the family,)

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 19, 2010
at 11:44 AM

Elaboration on question: I'm thinking of setting my total fat goal per day (at least for a while) at 124 gm/day @75% of calories (yeah I know, just think about the percent). I'm also thinking of aiming for 7.5* gms omega3, but only 2.5gm O6 (not even sure yet this is possible). At this 3:1 ratio, am I likely to run into excessively thin blood soon, or will the O6 stored in my body counteract that until my weight comes down significantly? *because of depression and pre-diabetes

F82f7d4dafb6d0ffc4c2ee2a85420786

(484)

on June 19, 2010
at 01:05 AM

I agree - it's almost impossible to make your own food all the time, but take-away and restuarant food is pretty much all based on cheap, refined vegetable oils. So when eating out, it comes down to the lesser evil - I stay away from grains etc, but put up with some nasty PUFAs.

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5 Answers

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1
Af842c68e3d07fa0e35b4274f3acaeec

on June 18, 2010
at 09:08 PM

I'd say August has a good point, the omega-3:omega-6 balance in our stored fat factors in greatly, although I don't know if it would truly take years to correct, I suppose it depends on your body fat level and how skewed your O-3/O-6 balance was beforehand. Leaning out will help to correct the balance in the fatty tissues, and a relatively high dose(0.5g/10lbs of bodyweight) of omega-3 in EPA/DHA form may help here. However, because polyunsaturated fats in general are highly susceptible to lipid peroxidation(creates free radicals, NOT GOOD) I would recommend limiting your polyunsaturated fat intake to 5% of your caloric intake.

In summary: Eliminate most omega-6 from your diet, use about 0.5g omega-3s per 10 lbs of BW per day, and try to titrate that down to less than 5 grams as you lean out. For further info on lipids, check out the latest post in the Nutrition Series I've been posting at: http://huskycfclub.blogspot.com/

2
1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on June 20, 2010
at 01:45 AM

I agree with Drew and Joe that limiting total PUFA intake is thought to be associated with positive impacts on your health.

However, a high omega-3 intake be of interest given the depression you mentioned.

The Stoll Bipolar Study used about 10 grams/day EPA/DHA to achieve it's results. Other studies on depression have also been effective at lower doses.

Depressed patients may have reduced levels of omega-3's:

2
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on June 18, 2010
at 08:46 PM

The build up of O6 stays with us and it can take years to correct, so limiting O6 and supplementing with O3 seems to make the most sense long term, both in terms of money spent and the long term goal of getting to a balance. Remember, we actually do need some O6, just not the overwhelming amount found in the modern diet. I don't know if there is a test yet or not, but it would be nice to be able to tell where we are at- over time our needs will change and perhaps even some high quality O6 (gla for instance) supplementation may be needed once the initial imbalance is corrected.

1
Dfd71315b44a74520ead7d6752e70fc7

(678)

on June 18, 2010
at 10:41 PM

I personally try to limit my intake of omega 6's based on the oxidation factor. There are some mixed result studies that are coming out that suggest that there is some beneficial purposes to PUFA but, for me, I am slightly skeptical of those results because we don't know what sources the fats are coming from. For instance, there are PUFA in both avocados and olive oil but there are a lot of monounsaturated fats in those as well. Grass fed beef has higher levels of omega 3s but there are still omega 6s in there as well. The reason I dig the paleo/primal approach to eating and macronutrients is because it makes me more aware of the choices I am making.

My favorite mom and pop sandwich shop near work has a DELICIOUS chicken kabob greek salad but I know that they use conventional chicken and soybean oil as the base for the dressing. I spend enough money and time cooking my own food as it is, sometimes I need a quick meal and this beats the hell out of McDonalds. Plus the salad has a ton of different veggies and it's not all iceberg lettuce and they include feta cheese (I'm lactose tolerant) so it's about as good of a choice as you can ask for from a run of the mill place. I'll get the Caesar salad at D'Angelos for the same reasons even though I know its soybean oil. Will eating that salad once a week kill me? No, because I make a conscious effort to avoid using soybean oil in my regular cooking and spend way too much on grass fed meats. By making smart choices most of the time (Mark Sisson's 80/20 rule), I end up lowering my PUFA intake in general and enhance my omega 3 intake so that when I make "rash" decisions for the sake of 21st century convenience, I won't stress about it. I won't focus stricty on the O6/O3 ratio itself and look at the food choices you make as a whole.

F82f7d4dafb6d0ffc4c2ee2a85420786

(484)

on June 19, 2010
at 01:05 AM

I agree - it's almost impossible to make your own food all the time, but take-away and restuarant food is pretty much all based on cheap, refined vegetable oils. So when eating out, it comes down to the lesser evil - I stay away from grains etc, but put up with some nasty PUFAs.

0
0037d03799fbdf83d3edc63dab01ac5a

(236)

on June 18, 2010
at 10:22 PM

My current thinking is that people should get about 2 grams per day of long chain (DHA & EPA) omega 3 fatty acids. That's from all sources, including fish oil pills. I also think people should get somewhere between 4 and 10 grams of omega 6 fatty acids per day. It's very hard to restrict omega 6s so low but that's where half the benefit is in my opinion.

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