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Old 01-17-2013, 08:21 AM   #1
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Omega 6s and Omega 3s

Ugh, it just had to happen...I'm 110% confident that LC/HF is the way for me to eat, but, of course, I had to come across an article and then dig, dig, dig further to find that my LC/HF WOE is likely VERY high in Omega 6s. Does anyone else pay attention to this? I'm trying to find a good oil to cook with (I don't like coconut oil for much since I don't care for the smell/flavor, and virgin CO has a relatively low smoke point). I'd been using mostly almond oil due to its high amount of monounsaturated fat, but now I find it's extremely high in Omega 6. My backup oil was sunflower, and my preferred mayonnaise, to avoid soybean oil, is made with safflower oil. I might as well just be shooting Omega 6s directly into my veins!

I don't like the flavor of olive oil (and still relatively high in Omega 6). I suppose I'll opt for more butter in lieu of oil (and maybe eventually try my hand at making ghee), but even things like bacon grease and chicken fat are high in Omega 6s. Having had type 2 diabetes, having a VERY strong family history of arthritis, and having dermatologic issues, inflammation is pretty important for me to battle, but it seems like these high-Omega 6 sources are EVERYWHERE!
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:20 AM   #2
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I supplement with salmon oil from Trader Joes. It's not overly expensive I think $10 a bottle and it lasts for awhile. Unless you eat a lot of fish, your best bet is to supplement.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:06 AM   #3
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I've read, though, that adding extra Omega 3 is not sufficient to combat the high intake of Omega 6, that you really need to reduce the Omega 6 intake. Bleh.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:49 AM   #4
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I take a tablespoon of cod liver oil every morning. I eat/cook with Walnut oil, which has a good omega 6/3 ratio. I also sometimes use butter, ghee, and olive oil.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jillybean720 View Post
I've read, though, that adding extra Omega 3 is not sufficient to combat the high intake of Omega 6, that you really need to reduce the Omega 6 intake. Bleh.
I have supped with it for over a year and my ratio is good. I've even lowered cholesterol with it.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:07 PM   #6
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jillybean - according to chris kresser you are totally correct, i recently listened to a podcast he dedicated to this subject. The volek and phinney books explain quite well good and bad fats
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:10 AM   #7
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I have supped with it for over a year and my ratio is good. I've even lowered cholesterol with it.
What ratio? I lowered my cholesterol just by LC/HF in general with no attention paid to Omegas of any kind. I'm more concerned about inflammation than cholesterol.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:12 AM   #8
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jillybean - according to chris kresser you are totally correct, i recently listened to a podcast he dedicated to this subject. The volek and phinney books explain quite well good and bad fats
I will admit upfront I've not read the books. When you say good and bad fats, do you basically mean saturated/monounsaturated/polyunsaturated/trans, or do they delve into Omega fatty acids? Many of what I thought were "good fats" (monounsaturated and saturated) are still very high in Omega 6.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:55 AM   #9
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Yes, I don't remember which one, probably Phinney noticed that the patients in his controlled trials on high fat diets rapidly cut out foods with mayonaise in them (the "normal" soybean oil based mayo) and developed an aversion to them. He had noticed the same aversion in himself, including a stomach ache when he ate mayo. But because he was not sure whether the stomach ache was brought on by the taste of the mayo, he tested out delivering mayo directly to his stomach using a tube. He still got the belly ache.

By the way, I was having the same symptoms when I first went low carb -- belly ache. When I read this, I stopped eating mayo and the belly ache went away.

Actually I bought some avocado oil some time back to make some mayo out of. Have not tried it yet though. I do miss mayo...

Here is a link to a page with some oils and their omega 6/ omega 3 absolute amounts (in grams per 100 grams of oil). There are no advertisements on the page, so it is okay to link to here.

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Old 01-18-2013, 12:16 PM   #10
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I take a tablespoon of cod liver oil every morning. I eat/cook with Walnut oil, which has a good omega 6/3 ratio. I also sometimes use butter, ghee, and olive oil.
Walnut oil still has a 16:1 Omega 6:3 ratio, much higher than the recommended ration (which appears to vary, depending on the source, from 2:1-6:1).

I wish macadamia nut oil weren't so expensive!
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:54 PM   #11
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Thanks for the link Phillip - it is very useful.

I have struggled with this for quite awhile and for a year made my own mayo from light olive oil. Guess I really need to get back with it!

Jillybean I don't know that there is any way for most of us to perfectly balance all of this and I am trying to think of it as progress - not perfection.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:48 AM   #12
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With all of the talk about omega 3 and 6, I sort of think the point is to eat some form of fatty fish most days of the week (which most Americans don't do).

Also, it would help our balance if we only ate animals that have ate grass.

Focus on macadamia, walnut, avocado, and olive oil.

I haven't known many that claim to have more control over the ratio than this. Since this is a significant concern of yours given your history of diabetes, maybe you should order an Omega 3 test?
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:37 AM   #13
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I don't care for fish. I eat it maybe a couple times a month, and only at restaurants, which means it's probably being cooked in an oil I don't really want :P

I agree about grass-fed meats. I need to try to budget to be able to include more of those, and then schedule a trip to Whole Foods.

I'm hoping maybe paying attention to this with what we eat at home might also have a positive effect of my husband's psoriasis.

I had no idea there was such a thing as an Omega 3 test. Back to Google!
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:40 PM   #14
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After reading this thread, I bought some macadamia nut oil today. Does heating it effect the nutrients? I've been thinking of using it in place of butter for my bulletproof coffee, so I won't have to heat it up, but it sounds like it would be good in baked goods.
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:47 PM   #15
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After reading this thread, I bought some macadamia nut oil today. Does heating it effect the nutrients? I've been thinking of using it in place of butter for my bulletproof coffee, so I won't have to heat it up, but it sounds like it would be good in baked goods.
From what I've read, it's a pretty stable oil and has a pretty high smoke point. The only real downside is the price and local availability in many places. I'm sure I could buy it here at Whole Foods, but I almost never go there due to the prices, so I just ordered mine on Amazon. I ordered some ghee, too, to use in place of butter when mac nut oil might not work as well. Although butter isn't that bad of an option to begin with with the exception of possible burning depending on how/what you're cooking.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:24 PM   #16
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If you like the ghee, you can make it easily at home. All it costs you is the pound of butter.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:34 AM   #17
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If you like the ghee, you can make it easily at home. All it costs you is the pound of butter.
Yeah, I thought about that since I'd seen instructions before on how to make it, but I work full time and have a 9-month-old at home, so I'm trying to do less around the house, not more As much as I like saving money, my time is more valuable to me right now.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:07 AM   #18
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This thread has inspired me to try harder with balancing the omega 6/3. I'm going to go back to making my own mayo - I add whey so it lasts longer.

I have never found a good solution for homemade salad dressing. If I use light olive oil I have to remember to take it out of the fridge so it comes to room temp and comes back to a liquid form.

Does the mac oil have any taste? Could it be used for salad dressings? Any other suggestions for salad dressings....I eat a small salad every day so it would really help balance things if I could switch to homemade dressings.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:43 AM   #19
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jillybean720: I don't mean this rudely, please don't take offense, but you should probably start learning how to "like" fish. Experiment with some new recipes. Make it once a week for you and your family. The easiest recipe would be to put some butter, salt, pepper, and lemon on it, wrap it in tin foil, and let it cook in the over. Don't cook it too long or it will dry out.

I know you can make it taste just as good as the restaurants can.

You could also consider making salmon patties - easy and similar to hamburgers. Most non-fish eaters usually still like salmon or crab cakes.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:10 AM   #20
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I don't take offense to your comment at all! But I don't like lemon on anything (except water!), I can't stand salmon (even at restaurants!), my husband doesn't like fish, either (he won't even get it at a restaurant, aside from shrimp, which is pretty different)...I see no need to force myself to eat something I don't like. I do like crab cakes, but they're carbier than I'd like when I've checked labels at the grocery stores (I assume due to the binders/fillers), and I am not about to try to make my own (see my mention of my time being more valuable to me than spending more on food items for convenience). My cholesterol numbers are outstanding, so I'll work on other ways to better my Omega 6:3 ratio
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:28 AM   #21
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Great link Phillip - thank you. It is informative to read the comments.

The ration of 3's to 6's is less dramatic in a low carb woe as we tend to eat more animal fats and less truly crappy seed oils (processing to extract the oils can be more problematic than anything). I think this comment was the most useful...

Quote:
are these differences significant?

It really depends on your total diet - everything you eat - at the end of the day.

Some contend that the omega-3/6 doesn't matter; others take the opposite view. Depending upon your perspective, the seemingly minor differences may factor into the ratio your achieve at the end of the day...it really depends on what else you eat. The two fatty acids work differently in the metabolism and are in a synergy - so, to me, it makes sense to try to keep them within a balance between 1:1 to 1:4 (what the research thus far finds to be optimal).

Do we know the exact ratio? Nope.

But if we look at various foods consumed in different cultures, and then look at how the standard American diet fares, we find a large intake of omega-6, what seems to be too little omega-3, and certainly a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3...populations with a closer ratio of omega-3:6 have better health and longevity than we do in the US, and they often consume more animal foods and fats.

Personally, I choose to eat grass-fed meats & poultry because the ratios are better than in conventional factory-farmed products.

The added bonus is that animals that are pastured are allowed to eat as they're designed to eat and are consuming their natural diet - something I think contributes to the overall quality of the meat, quality of life for the animal and quality of my long-term health.

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Old 01-22-2013, 11:25 AM   #22
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jillybean720: I understand. I also don't have time to spend tons of time in the kitchen - and I know how difficult it is, especially if the hubby doesn't like something! My husband is quite picky, so I end up cooking the quick, tried and true recipes over and over.

I just read a simple recipe for salmon cakes (like crab cakes) in the New Atkins Cookbook..... I think I'm going to try them out soon. I'll let you know if they are as good as/similar to crab cakes, and not too time-consuming.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:49 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jillybean720 View Post
I see no need to force myself to eat something I don't like.
I second you on this - I've tried for years to make myself like fish, and it's just not happening. If anything, I've come to dislike even more kinds of seafood! Since fish oil capsules are available, I'll take those and pass on the fish.

Someone asked if macadamia nut oil has a flavor; it does - it tastes very strongly of macadamia nuts. I love it in coffee as a result, but I don't think it would be good for mayonnaise. JMHO.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:07 AM   #24
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So what should we use for making mayo??? It looks like there're no good options. I was feeling so good about my olive oil mayo, but not so much after looking at that list.

I am happy to see that dairy looks good, though.

And I'm wondering, do you guys think that "pastured" eggs are the same as "cage free"? I have been just getting the cheap eggs because we're pretty broke, but it looks like the good ones are worth it.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:25 PM   #25
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So what should we use for making mayo??? It looks like there're no good options. I was feeling so good about my olive oil mayo, but not so much after looking at that list.
I think I'm going to try avocado oil for mayo; not perfect, but better. I have some macadamia oil to try, too, but I'm not sure how that flavor will turn out. I haven't made any of my own mayo yet, though - still working through the store-bought mayo in my pantry.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:03 PM   #26
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So what should we use for making mayo??? It looks like there're no good options. I was feeling so good about my olive oil mayo, but not so much after looking at that list. ...
Phinney and Volek only mention omega 3 & 6 oils in the context of PUFA's. Olive oil is 75% MUFA and 11% PUFA, so it should be okay.

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Old 01-30-2013, 01:05 PM   #27
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The avocado costs almost as much as the macadamia oil. Gah! Do you know if it has a lot of flavor to it? I'd like to make mayo that just tastes like mayo, if possible. I wonder if it's possible to make a ghee mayo. I guess it would be hard in the fridge, though.
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:27 AM   #28
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What does everybody think about rice bran oil? How does that compare to the others?

I have no idea, tried to look it up, but could not really find anything that is not blocked by our security thingy at work... Weird.

I tend to make mayo with either olive oil or a mix of olive oil and coconut oil. It hardens a bit in the fridge, but I don't make huge amounts so it doesn't last very long. Using expeller pressed organic coconut oil is also flavour free...

Will have a look at avocado oil...
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:08 AM   #29
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Nevermind. I just read that rice bran oil has a ratio of 1:35 of Omega 3 to Omega 6... Not something to add then!

Just went to my big healthfood supermarket, but no avocado oil and no macadamia oil...
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:34 AM   #30
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I still thing a good quality organic olive oil is a good choice for many things. The point I believe is to not eat a ton of any vegetable or seed oils that don't have good ratios. For instance mayo; how much of that are you going to eat in a day and therefore what does it comprise in terms of overall ratios? Four % of daily calories in terms of omega 6's is considered pretty good. Probably, the more pertinent issue is how it was processed.
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