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Thread: Omega 3s and Polyunsaturated fats page

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    koden's Avatar
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    Omega 3s and Polyunsaturated fats

    Ok so I have been trying to read up on Mark's articles about omega 3 fats and then about fats in general. What I didn't understand and still have an issue with is that there are transfats, saturated fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Ok great, got that down I think. Trans are awful.

    I am confused where omega 3s fall under all this? I though poly were bad as well, yet some quick research online said omega 3s come from the poly fats. I guess I just don't have a basic understanding of how you can determine if foods have more or less omega 3s in them.

    Also which fats are the best? I'm still slightly confused even after reading the fats articles. Are Polys actually good? I know saturated is the best... but I'm still confused about the unsaturated stuff. Any help would be appreciated, thank you.

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    JKC
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    The thing with omega 3 is you want to balance omega 3 and omega 6. You should have a balance of around 1 omega 3 to 4 omega 6 or less. Most people get way too much omega 6 compared to omega 3 in their diet. Oily fish is the best source of omega 3s and if you eat it once a day you should be fine, regarding omega 3/omega 6.
    Karin

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    Read this: Primal Wisdom: The Practically Primal Guide to Conventional Beef, Part 3: Nutritional composition
    It should help a bit.

    You do want to keep polys to 4% of total calories or less. I try to keep it that low but it doesn't always work. I supplement with fish oil (5g/day) and that usually pushes me over the top because I eat chicken and/or pork.

    As JKC indicated, the ratio of n-6:n-3 is what you want to focus on as well. I believe the SAD has people in the 20:1 range. Where you want to be is at 4:1 (or less).

    Since you are already Primal, you have removed most n-6 sources like vegetable fats. Eating leaner parts of chicken (like the breast) will give you less of the n-6 fats. I am not saying eat less fat, not at all. If I eat chicken breast, I will cook it in heavy whipping cream with dijon mustard, or just eat a couple Tbsp of coconut butter/oil. Macadamias are the best nuts to eat as they have a very low poly count.
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    What if you only eat fatty fish? Isn't that too much omega-3, what happens then?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mwok86 View Post
    What if you only eat fatty fish? Isn't that too much omega-3, what happens then?
    The only thing that I know would be a detrimental "side effect" of too much omega-3 is a lot more free radicals being released. Taking in more anti oxidants would help take care of that though (like vit E). I am not an expert though, so there could be more.

    That is a question I NEVER though I would see. LOL.
    People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.

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    camel's Avatar
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    Is there an online calculator or ipod app that calculates O3:O6 balance?

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    CRON-O-Meter does it. But it makes no distinction between pasture raised v grain fed animal meats. This will skew the results but it will give you a good idea of what you are eating.
    People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.

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    Thank you guys for trying to help out. I knew that the 6:3 ratio needs to be lower, but what I'm trying to ask is it seems omega 3s come from polyunsaturated fat, but polys are bad right? I'm still confused about the saturated vs unsaturated stuff, more than the omega 3 vs omega 6 issue.

    Thank you both Icarian and JKC so far, but hopefully you can answer those questions as well.

  9. #9
    JKC's Avatar
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    Trans fats are bad
    Seed oils are bad
    6:3 ratio needs to be balanced
    Sat fat is ok for you
    There is no need to get exact ratios of everything

    My general approach to fats
    - eat fatty fish every day
    - use coconut oil or butter for cooking, olive oil for salads
    - I don't trim the fat, but don't feel the need to add extra so my meal is swimming in it - I want enough to feel satisfied but not grossed out.

    I hope that helps - there is no need for absolute perfection here - just have the general trends right and your body will notice the difference.
    Karin

    A joyful heart is good medicine

    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliot

    Mmmmm. Real food is good.

    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread29685.html

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    The hunter gatherers probably had feasts when they caught an animal and would probably get a very large amount of omega 6. I doubt they cared about omega 3/6 balances and studies show that these animals have the same fat ratios today (like bison). Maybe the polyunsaturated fats that we need to worry about are the man-made artificial ones like vegetable oils and such (which appear to be unstable). Like trans fat, maybe the artificial kind is bad, the natural occurring one is good. Hunter gatherers didn't use oils (even the good ones like olive oil) which I think contains "most" of the polyunsaturated fat. To get the oil from an olive, you'd have to put it through a process: It would take 30lbs of olives to make 5 gallon of olive oil.....that isn't supposed to exist in nature so maybe using olive oil (and all oils) is bad.

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