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Saturated fats, cholesterol, and omega 6

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  • Saturated fats, cholesterol, and omega 6

    Not having access to grass-fed meat in my area, two of my main concerns are my saturated fat, cholesterol, and omega 6 intake. I eat fish on a regular basis, so that helps out my 6:3 ratio, but fattier organ meats and dark meats are really raising some red flags for me. Organ meat and dark meat from grain fed animals seems to be extremely high in omega 6. On top of that, I can't help but wonder if the same health risks exist from eating these fatty meats, as exist from consuming battery-farmed eggs. So far, to avoid any trouble, I've been cutting most of the fat off of my meat, or boiling it down in stews and skimming the fat off the top. But while I know that this is removing the saturated fat and potentially harmful cholesterol, I honestly don't know if the polyunsaturated fats in animals are found in the animal fat stores or separately, as oils in the meat itself. So, really, my questions are:

    By removing fat from meat, am I just removing the saturated fat, or am I ditching the polyunsaturated fats as well?

    Does eating fat from grain-fed meat carry the same risks as eating something like battery-farmed eggs?

    If I should really avoid eating the fat on grain-fed meat, are there some other, safer sources of saturated fats that I can eat? I've actually found it very difficult to get enough saturated fat while keeping my 6:3 ratio decent without including a lot of dairy in my diet, something I'd really prefer not to do.

  • #2
    the fat that appears saturated when meats are at room temperature is in fact a blend of saturated fat and monounsaturated fat, and yes, some polyunsaturated fat. fat in nature almost never appears as "purely" one type. if you remove the bulk of the fat, there will still be some intramuscular fat, but generally speaking its composition shouldn't be too different. and don't miss out on organ meats! liver is nature's vitamin.

    grain fed meat does have a bit more n-6 fat than grass fed, and definitely less (if any) n-3. but the relative amount is still very, very low. by cutting out seed oils and most nuts, you've axed the lions share of PUFA from your diet. i wouldn't stress. you can still choose to remove the fat from the grain fed meat and then cook in pastured butter (kerrygold, echivere, lurpak, etc...) if you prefer. coconut oil is a good saturated fat, kind of a unique one too, a medium chain triglyceride.

    as for cholesterol concerns, check out mark's writing about cholesterol. i'm not sure if you need to be as concerned with it as you are.
    Last edited by jakey; 11-22-2011, 11:26 AM. Reason: spelling.


    • #3
      You shouldn't have to worry about dietary cholesterol because when eaten the liver will adjust by down regulating cholesterol synthesis.

      Don't worry too much about taking the fat off grain-fed beef and lamb, there's just not that much omega 6
      (<0.263g in 100g serve of 10% fat grain fed ground beef)

      If you're not regularly eating nuts and seeds, some fatty fish twice a week will be sufficient to meet your long chain omega 3 requirements


      • #4
        People with higher cholesterol regularly outlive those with low cholesterol. Eat as much as you can. I eat tons of cholesterol and my HDL is 93. I'm basically heart disease-proof.
        Crohn's, doing SCD


        • #5
          Yes, but consuming cholesterol from certain foods, like battery-farmed eggs, can increase oxidized LDL cholesterol (I can't seem to find the post where Mark mentions this. Maybe he was actually talking about the omega 6 content in battery-farmed eggs and I'm just not remembering correctly). I'm not in the least bit concerned about my cholesterol in general at this point, but I stopped eating battery-farmed eggs for just this reason.

          And by my calculations (I actually worked this out), even with cutting out fat from meat (which I'm estimated cuts out about half off the polyunsaturated fats per jakey's reply), avoiding all oils, eating raw (personal preference), wild salmon 2x a week and shrimp 2x a week, my 6:3 ratio is still about 2:1 without dairy, and I'm not consuming NEARLY enough calories (I'm 6' and was about 122 5-6 months ago when I stopped eating wheat because I found out I was allergic, so I really need to put on some weight). If I add in dairy, it goes to 3:1 and I'm on the lower end of my ideal caloric intake.

          This leads me to my question about saturated fat. Really, what I've been doing if all that has kept my 6s from shooting through the roof (I'd be closer to the 4:1/5:1 range otherwise). I really need to up my calories and that either means eating more fat or eating more carbs (I'm already getting 80% of my body weight in protein and I'm not really exercising much, just eating, so that part isn't a concern). Without eating a lot more fish, and my budget is stretched pretty thin as it is, or finding a decent source of low-omega 6 fat, I'm going to be edging into 6 or 7:1 territory pretty easily. I'd prefer not to eat a ton of carbs because I find they give me really bad sugar-shock. I eat a lot of coconut, but even that is pretty hefty in 6s at 300mg per cup.

          Any ideas on this one? I've kind of flat lined at 140-145, which is still really underweight, and I'm getting a good 1800-2000 calories a day. On the other end, would it really be that terrible if I just let my 6:3 ratio go for a six or so months so I can up my calories? I mean, I HAVE been eating grains and vegetable oils my entire life up until this point, haven't I? What's six months, really?


          • #6
            Sounds like you need to relocate. Where are you, that has no grass-fed meat? Can you hunt? Don't stress over this, just make plans to find real food in the future.

            Of course you should only be eating good quality eggs. But doing your best to be nourished will pay off later, even though it means eating lower quality food for now.

            How much sweet potato are you eating? It's hard to find bad sweet potatoes and they are a great source of calories. Just two or three per day will help fill out those 100 to 150 grams of carbs you're looking for. Along with mountains of broccoli and the other foods you're already eating, this should help with your caloric intake.

            I don't even eat much red meat. I can only afford frozen and canned fish. BPA is part of my 20%. I can't wait to get my hunting license and have real meat someday. Seems like more of a pipe dream than reality, though.
            Crohn's, doing SCD


            • #7
              If you dont have grass fed around (or choose not to eat it due to cost) You will still be ok.

              Stick with red meat. Beef even grain fed is still almost all sat fat. Yes you get a little more O6 but not a hell of a lot, but you do loose some O3 and CLA. Also London Broil is a good lean cut of meat that is priced right and is wonderful cooked rare-medrare with a nice marinade.

              Mark also has pointed to Lamb for the same reason as beef.

              Limit the pork and birds because they have the higher O6 content.

              You will be ok... Ditching the grain and industrial oils gets you 90% of the way there.



              • #8
                I live in the middle of central Florida. The only local farm where I can purchase meat is about an hour away, and they still feed their animals grains. They are free-range animals, but considering the price I would be better just ordering my food off the internet (an option I am exploring, but I'm pretty wary of internet-based food companies). I actually have been looking into getting my hunting license and just eating whatever I can kill. We have plenty of small game in this area and you can hunt small game year-round. Also, there are plenty of larger game hunting times as well. But those are both future options.

                I've been thinking about adding in more sweet potato, but as I said, I'm trying to avoid the carbs if I can. Two of those a day would get a me a good 500+ calories though, and would probably be better than eating all that omega 6. Now that I think about it, if I cut out the shrimp and replace my shrimp days with salmon, that would definitely boost my omega 3 a lot. They're about the same price. I'm fairly sure that I'm getting the vegetables to fill the nutritional space the shrimp is providing me anyway. If I did that, ate a couple sweet potatoes everyday, and added in some fat I could probably get to 3000 calories without straying beyond a respectable 4:1.


                • #9
                  Pretty rare cases, they must be. In general, eating plenty of fat and cholesterol is only beneficial.

                  It's like allergies. People are told to eat nuts all the time, but if they're allergic, they know better! And a simple lab test for triglycerides will make it very obvious very rapidly that someone is not biologically suited for heavy fat consumption. Barring that, there would be physiological symptoms as well to warn them of critical lipemia. But it's rare. Most folks burn fat just fine for energy. Fundamental digestive concept, there.

                  And I'm not making it up. People with low cholesterol frequently die of heart failure and suffer more problems internally, like being unable to heal membranes and developing ulcers, etc. Get your cholesterol as high as you can with real food like pastured eggs, grass-fed butter, tallow, etc. and you've got a real insurance policy going. They figured that out back in the fifties when they were trying to prove the lipid hypothesis and only found evidence to the contrary.
                  Crohn's, doing SCD


                  • #10
                    Yes, you are very right. Nobody should ignore any angle of investigation. But my experience has shown diet to play a role.
                    Total cholesterol:200

                    Primal Blueprint, high-fat, high-cholesterol intake
                    Total Chol: 224
                    LDL:Not calculated

                    Total chol:252
                    HDL: 93.7
                    Calculated LDL: 150
                    Crohn's, doing SCD