Hello. I've been reading some more Ray Peat lately, and am noticing that a lot paleo foods are high in omega 6. Avocado, nuts, eggs, pork, poultry and fish.
I used to be under the impression that whole food sources do not pose a problem, but now I'm not so sure.
So, my question is, Do you guys think omega 6 from these whole foods is a problem? Why or why not? Also, how have you modified your diet to take into account omega 6 load?
asked byalligator (1782)
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on March 04, 2013
at 09:59 PM
Give it a try. Stop consuming any significant source of PUFA for 3 months and see what happens. What happened to me was that I lost weight, felt better, and almost all my health issues went away. Eggs are fine though, even Ray Peat eats them because the nutrient content makes up for the 0.7 grams of PUFA they have. Chicken is ok one every 10 days according to Peat. Lean fish are ok too. Only fatty fish is a problem.
You can cook with coconut oil or ghee for high temperatures, butter for lower temperatures. If you're allergic to coconut oil or don't like the taste, try refined coconut oil.
on March 04, 2013
at 09:55 PM
I'm not sure this is known. Here's a discussion on the relative merits of arachidonic vs linoleic n-6 fatty acids. Total n-6 content may not be the most important thing.
Here's another one:
on March 06, 2013
at 12:46 AM
Many times we hear in the paleo world talk about the wonderful things omega three fats do for us. We also hear about the many bad things that omega six oils can do to us. We rarely hear about why O6 fats are good or in fact necessary. Well, they are folks. In fact, we need them in EXCESS as compared to O3 fats! Most invoke the standard American diet (SAD) argument because a processed food diet has 25-40 to one ratio of omega 6 to three ratios compared to an ancestral diet as outlined by Cordain et al. This information is true to some degree but the story has many nuances that one needs to understand for optimal health in my view. Lets take a look at some of the data we should be mindful of.
What exactly are the paths that EFA travel in humans? Is the pathway of all omega six fats inflammatory? Is the current concept of a dietary balance omega-6/3 ratios based on a true biologic reality? We also hear a lot of background posting about the ???inflammatory pathway??? from linoleic acid (LA) to arachadonic acid (AA) as the main argument against dietary sources of O6 fats. This is the AA pathway that leads to the formation of prostaglandins. Interestingly, the real pathway that O6 fats travel is not to just foster inflammation, but to also limit it. Many researchers and bloggers assume that the pathway from AA to PGE2 is a constant finding if we eat dietary excesses of O6 fats. This is not true at all. The interesting finding is that the body only produces PGE2 when it is actually needed by the body. It does not happen with the excess consumption of omega 6 by itself. In fact, most EFA are produced in the human body on an ad needed basis. So, AA is not dangerous in an of itself. The adverse effect idea arose because of the role of AA as a precursor of thromboxane and other eicosanoids participating in activating thrombus formation and the inflammatory process. But this is not the only thing AA does in the human body! If it was I would never be able to operate on anyone!
AA is a major component of the endothelial [inner arterial lining] phosphoglycerides, particularly on the inner cell membrane layer. AA and adrenic acid are consistent companions in other cell membranes. It is the precursor for prostacyclin: a vasodilator and inhibitor of platelet adhesion; it is the most potent platelet inhibitor we know of in nature. This stops the clotting process when it is no longer needed. It is also vital to smooth vascular and laminar flow and allows us to overcome wounds we sustain in injury or create in surgery by helping seal the wounds. If there is damage to the endothelium, such as in bruising, infection or cutting, then the phospholipases release AA. In the free form, and in conjunction with activated platelets, AA is peroxidized to provide eicosanoids for the response to injury. This is how the body is supposed to work. I rely on O6 fats every day in surgery to get people to clot and off the operating table.
Moreover, in vivo, we never find prostaglandins from omega 3???s or from omega 6???s acting alone. They act in concert as a violin and violinist would. One without the other is simply useless. PGE1 is made from omega 6 fats and is a fast acting pain inhibiting cytokine that also modulates the immune response to an injury. PGE3 is made form omega 3 fats and has similar function but the PGE1 response is more brisk and powerful to help in wound healing. They always act in unison and are symbiotic. This is why when someone takes too many omega 3???s in supplement form we often can see skin bleeding and discoloration and frank internal bleeding. It is also why when our ratio is 40 to 1 due to processed foods we see the opposite end of the spectrum. But we must realize it is in fact a spectrum of balance that we need to strive for.
As explained above, the western diet is estimated to have undergone a huge shift in the omega 6 to 3 content since 1900. Many place the spike in neolithic disease at this concomitant spike over the last 110 years. Our bodies target ratio???s of EFA should still be capable of oxygen-transference ratio of a maximum of 6 to 1 omega-6 to omega-3 for good functioning. So if you understand biology, humans need more O6 fats than O3 fats normally in their diet to function optimally. So it should now be clear that AA is not the dark side! If we could get it to two to three to one ratio it likely would be ideal, but with today food sources I think this is rather difficult to do without a lot of money and time.
A word of caution: I am one of the few who think there is a major benefit to 06???s in mammalian biochemistry. The real problem we have with 06 is the shear number and amount in balancing the 03 for ideal proper cell membrane signaling. This ratio is critically tied to the environment we are adapted too. Most in our community fail to realize this point because they really do not understand how mammalians use 06???s to their advantage.
The other interesting factor I have seen few speak of is the requirement that each organ of the body has for omega 6 and 3 fats. I decided to look into this issue more several years ago when I was researching my own health. I always believed that the brain had a large omega 3 component naturally and it turned out, I was dead wrong. The brain makes up 3% of our body weight (BW) but has a 100 to 1 ratio of 06 to 03 within it normally!!! Most of that is DHA and EPA protected by iodine and CSF for semi conduction. It works when the BBB is not permeable from the usual sources. It appears the 06 to Phosphotidyl Choline and Phosphotidyl Serine ratios are more critical for cell membrane signaling for protein confirmational bending after proteins are made in the brain. This single insight made me realize that mammals do something special with their 06???s for some reason, so I looked deeper and found that answer.
It appears in certain diseases of the brain the ratio gets dramatically altered and may actually be a good biomarker for us to use diagnosis and prognosis in neurodegenerative disorders. Skin makes up 4% of our BW and has 1000 to 1 ratio normally. Skeletal muscle makes up 50% of our BW and sets at a 6 to 1 ratio. Our internal organs, make up 9% of our BW have the lowest ratios at 4 to 1. Adipose tissue sits at 22 to 1 ratio and makes up 15-35% of our total BW depending upon how fat we are.
Summing it all up:
THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN THE O6/O3 ratio is CONTEXT!!!!! Many in the paleo sphere do not give that context.
on March 05, 2013
at 12:27 AM
I think a lot of paleo gurus are moving closer to Ray Peat's view, at least with nut consumption. I recall that nuts were highly recommended early on, but more recently Mark Sisson has said, "Just make sure you treat your nuts as delicious snacks, rather than staple cornerstones of a meal." Similarly, Chris Kresser has said, "...nut consumption should be limited or moderated because of the high levels of omega-6 fat many of them contain." And I think I recall Robb Wolf mentioning that he manually shells any nuts he eats so that he doesn't gobble too many down.
on May 17, 2013
at 06:45 PM
Consuming damaged o-6 (the extracted liquid fat which has been exposed to oxidation or heat) does not have the same effect on the body as consuming the equivalent amount of o-6 in a whole food like the ones you mentioned. This does not mean that you should go overboard on omega-6 consumption with the justification that the source is whole, but it is indeed favourable to consuming refined/oxidised/damaged o-6. Mark Sisson has a very good article on this: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/nuts-omega-6-fats/#axzz2TSkBkAP0
Contrary to what their o-6 content would indicate, whole nut consumption actually seems to reduce inflammation: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18296371
on March 05, 2013
at 04:27 PM
Also, put your food in cronometer or something now and then. People say to keeping omega-6 under 4% is very good, 3% amazing. I eat plenty of fish and eggs and some of all that other stuff and still easily do so. There was a time in my early paleo days where a snack might have been 1/2 cup of nuts and a whole avocado. There was a time in my early paleo days where dinner might have included a full pound of pork. Okay, I don't do those things any longer! But just turning those foods from staples into occasionals is enough. Except as I say for eggs and fish, which are still staples, and I'm still way below that omega-6 ceiling.
But if one has a bit of extra omega-6 from those foods you listed, the good probably outweighs the bad anyway, at least compared to non-paleo foods.
Eat a nice variety of paleo foods and it'll be fine.
on March 05, 2013
at 01:31 AM
yes apparently chickens not all its cracked up to be.. ":) eggs are the bomb though so get crackin ! ..
explained here ..
"Chicken have a moderately high omega-6 content; a whole chicken provides about 13% of all calories (about 20% of fat calories) as omega-6 fats. Because omega-6 toxicity begins at about 4% of energy (see chapter 11 of the book), replacing low-omega-6 foods like beef and seafood with chicken can help generate toxic levels of omega-6 in the body."