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Thread: Omega 6:3 ratio

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  1. #1
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    Omega 6:3 ratio

    I started using paleotrack.com to see how I'm doing nutritionally. I am strict paleo, and I also don't eat nuts, seeds, eggs, etc for autoimmune protocal. But my omega ratio isn't where I want it to be. I can balance it with a couple teaspoons a day of fish oil, but I'd like to try to do it with food. Seems that chicken reall throws it off. Do I need to worry so much if my omega 6 is coming from free range chickens and not nuts and oils?

  2. #2
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    Also, so far, 63% of my calories are from fat... Thanks to the coconut oil on my salad... Too much?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgiaPeach View Post
    Also, so far, 63% of my calories are from fat... Thanks to the coconut oil on my salad... Too much?
    No, that's fine. Eat whatever macros you like. Just make sure to get ample protein and you can use whatever macros work best for you.

    Chris Kresser did an excellent series of posts on omega fatty acids. He recommends getting omega-3 from actual fish instead of fish oil in most cases and also goes into how absolute amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 must be considered, not just the ratio:

    The fish vs. fish oil smackdown
    How much omega-3 is enough? That depends on omega-6.
    How too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 is making us sick

    Sounds like you are doing pretty well. I would not worry too much.

  4. #4
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    I just sorted my list by omega 6 content... Turns out most of it is coming from the avocado I ate, not the chicken. I thought those guys were healthy. No? Eat just a bit notnthe whole? Eat 3 and die happy?

  5. #5
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    Avocadoes are a "PUFA bomb" according to Ray Peat and he seems to advise avoiding them. What's the n-6/n-3 balance in avocadoes? I didn't realize it was lopsided in favor of n-6. My take is that all naturally-occurring n-6 PUFA (avocadoes, wild-caught fish, pastured chicken, pasture-bred pork) can't be that bad; it's the n-6 PUFA in processed foods that are egregious (e.g., bread, dairy, processed flour products). I think the focus on n-6/n-3 imbalance is being second-guessed unduly when all you're eating is fish, chicken, pork, and unroasted/unsalted nuts. This is dramatically different than eating flour-based products, ice cream, and other SAD staples. In the latter case, you may need fish oil supplementation; in the former, I tend not to think so.

    There seems to be more widsom in ancestral eating habits than in taking modern science literally. Sure, once digested, these items all dissolve into common denominators we refer to as n-3/n-6 PUFA. Supposedly the double carbon bonds make them unstable. But really, is that all there is to it?

    Where are all those that ate non-fatty fish, pork, birds, avocadoes, nuts, etc. that fell easy victim to cardiovascular disease or cancer? A 10:1 imbalance may not be all that unhealthy if that imbalance is coming from such items, than when you're eating n-6 PUFA from gluten grain-based and vegetable oil products.

    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgiaPeach View Post
    I just sorted my list by omega 6 content... Turns out most of it is coming from the avocado I ate, not the chicken. I thought those guys were healthy. No? Eat just a bit notnthe whole? Eat 3 and die happy?
    Last edited by choppedliver; 05-30-2012 at 11:45 AM.

  6. #6
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    I think if you get a good quality, liquid fish oil to take every day, you don't need to worry about it being technically supplementation. It's still food, it's from a very primal food, and it shouldn't contain additives that could do harm to you. Honestly, if that's the only supplement that you take, you are way ahead of the curve. Way back in caveman times, all of our meat would have been free-range, grass-fed, etc. The higher levels of omega 3 in them were enough then. Nowadays unless you want to eat exclusively fish and grass-fed ruminants (cows, bison, etc.), taking a fish oil supplement really just "makes up" for what is missing from the meat we can get our hands on. As long as you aren't partaking of the high omega 6 foods (and that seems to be the case), you shouldn't have any problem!

    If you feel good at the fat %age that you are currently hitting, no need to change anything.
    Type 1 Diabetic. Controlling blood sugar through primal life.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by apple View Post
    I think if you get a good quality, liquid fish oil to take every day, you don't need to worry about it being technically supplementation. It's still food, it's from a very primal food, and it shouldn't contain additives that could do harm to you. Honestly, if that's the only supplement that you take, you are way ahead of the curve. Way back in caveman times, all of our meat would have been free-range, grass-fed, etc. The higher levels of omega 3 in them were enough then. Nowadays unless you want to eat exclusively fish and grass-fed ruminants (cows, bison, etc.), taking a fish oil supplement really just "makes up" for what is missing from the meat we can get our hands on. As long as you aren't partaking of the high omega 6 foods (and that seems to be the case), you shouldn't have any problem!

    If you feel good at the fat %age that you are currently hitting, no need to change anything.
    I eat almost exclusively local grass fed meats and wild caught fish, although I don't eat as much fish as I should, maybe only twice a month.

    Would it be your opinion that I don't need an Omega 3 fish oil supplement?

  8. #8
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    beyond the ratio, you have to consider the overall amount of PUFA in your diet. if the overall amount is really low, and if you're eating primally, and avoiding the foods that you are, it is, the ratio becomes less and less important.

    skip the fish oil, imho. it's never once been shown to even correlate with any health benefits, as opposed to eating fish.

  9. #9
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    I went through this, too. I will parrot what others have been saying around here. Rancid, industrial fried omega-6 oils are not the same thing as natural, fresh chicken fat. The kinds of oil that are killing America are soybean oil, canola oil and other seed oils. Avocados and poultry are real food, it does not make sense to avoid them.
    Steak, eggs, potatoes - fruits, nuts, berries and forage. Coconut milk and potent herbs and spices. Tea instead of coffee now and teeny amounts of kelp daily. Let's see how this does! Not really had dairy much, and gut seems better for it.

  10. #10
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    i think eggs are a great source of iodine

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