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Who is limiting Omega 6s?


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I haven't seen much about this topic here, but I've been reading a lot about it over the last year or so, and started consciously limiting my omega-6 fatty acids in January in an attempt to better balance them with my omega 3s. For me, this meant switching to more stable, saturated fats for cooking (butter and other animal fats, coconut oil), limiting nuts, and switching to grass fed meats whenever possible. 

It seems to be a fairly well understood, mainstream idea among nutritional communities that the overabundance of Omega 6s in the SAD are likely linked to many diseases, obesity included. 

Here are a few more "mainstream" references, for those unfamiliar:

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400149/balanci ng-omega-3-and-omega-6.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12442909

I am genuinely curious why this info. isn't more mainstream if the evidence is so clear that 1. these fats are inflammatory and 2. that our diets have become very high in them since we've been steered away from saturated fats.

Anyone following this lower omega-6 way of eating?  Anyone else even aware of it?

Thanks!

33 Replies (last)

I'm not sure I even want to get into this argument, since it's clear you did not understand the research.

 

PUFAs are good for you. The problem is the RATIO at which the majority of people consume them. Omega-6 are mostly inflammatory, so you want to limit the intake of these. Omega-3 are anti-inflammatory and you want to get as much of them as you want. That doesn't mean you want NO omega-6, just that you want a healthy ratio of omega-3 to omega-6. The ratio has become something like 20:1 according to some research, when it used to be something like 3:1 or lower. THAT'S THE PROBLEM.

 

If PUFA's were bad for you, as you think they are, eskimos and Asian's who eat diets rich in fish which are rich in PUFAs would not be healthier than Americans.

I think, if we specifically examine certain aspects of PUFAs, though, we have some interesting decisions to make. 

(1) Does the heating of certain oils, such as canola oil, and then using it to cook food, increase the toxins we consume?

(2) Does using oils (canola, sunflower seed, corn, etc) stored improperly and then used in our cooking increase the toxins that we consume?

(3) Since coconut oil (olive oil is also listed as "better" than most oils) is listed as the "go to" oil, when compared to corn, soybean, sunflower, etc, should we be using primarily coconut oil in our cooking?

(4) Should we go back to using lard and butter as opposed to the "bad" oils and all margarine?

(5) What do the unbiased, knowledgeable health experts, who have no "diet plan" to sell or company to represent or poorly researched views to espouse, advise us to consume as far as cooking oils, butter, lard, margarine, etc?

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Dang!  Just when I thought it was safe to jump into the oil, the PUFA shark rears its ugly head!

==========

Note:  fincharella: Thanks for posting this.  I found my net "research" rather interesting as far as reading various articles and/or parts of articles about PUFAs.

Original Post by armandounc:

I'm not sure I even want to get into this argument, since it's clear you did not understand the research.

 

PUFAs are good for you. The problem is the RATIO at which the majority of people consume them. Omega-6 are mostly inflammatory, so you want to limit the intake of these. Omega-3 are anti-inflammatory and you want to get as much of them as you want. That doesn't mean you want NO omega-6, just that you want a healthy ratio of omega-3 to omega-6. The ratio has become something like 20:1 according to some research, when it used to be something like 3:1 or lower. THAT'S THE PROBLEM.

 

If PUFA's were bad for you, as you think they are, eskimos and Asian's who eat diets rich in fish which are rich in PUFAs would not be healthier than Americans.

I do understand that it is a ratio thing. I changed the post title to reflect more clearly the issue I am looking to discuss.

 

 

Original Post by shane_paladin:

I think, if we specifically examine certain aspects of PUFAs, though, we have some interesting decisions to make. 

(1) Does the heating of certain oils, such as canola oil, and then using it to cook food, increase the toxins we consume?

(2) Does using oils (canola, sunflower seed, corn, etc) stored improperly and then used in our cooking increase the toxins that we consume?

(3) Since coconut oil (olive oil is also listed as "better" than most oils) is listed as the "go to" oil, when compared to corn, soybean, sunflower, etc, should we be using primarily coconut oil in our cooking?

(4) Should we go back to using lard and butter as opposed to the "bad" oils and all margarine?

(5) What do the unbiased, knowledgeable health experts, who have no "diet plan" to sell or company to represent or poorly researched views to espouse, advise us to consume as far as cooking oils, butter, lard, margarine, etc?

==========

Dang!  Just when I thought it was safe to jump into the oil, the PUFA shark rears its ugly head!

==========

Note:  fincharella: Thanks for posting this.  I found my net "research" rather interesting as far as reading various articles and/or parts of articles about PUFAs.

I am feeling good about cooking with coconut oil, ghee, and butter, and I'm definitely enjoying the fattier meat :) I think I ate a diet much too low in fat (somewhat inadvertently) for too long. To be reasonable, I've decided to get some bloodwork done at the 6 month mark to see where I'm at.

Last year both my LDL and HDL were low, and my triglycerides were on the high side of normal.  As far as I'm concerned, none of that is great.  I'm looking forward to July when I will test again.

I keep coming back to this idea that the switch to vegetable oils is concurrent with the health crisis in this country. And I don't think we can exactly label the corn and soy lobbies as harmless.

I don't want to imply that I think the current disease epidemic is a single-source issue, but I feel confident that O-6s are implicated.

fincharella:

You very well could be correct about your concerns.

A few of the original concerns that many health experts had about our consuming things like lard and butter were/are:

(1) The high cholesterol.

(2) The fat.

(3) The amount of calories and the encouragement of weight gain.

Eating healthy is a very complex issue -- much debate and very clear disagreement among people who have spent their adult lives studying and researching it. 


thhq
Apr 12 2012 19:58
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I agree with the overabundance. Overconsumption is the cause of obesity though, and linoleic acid (omega 6 in pop diet books), mainly from soy, is the oil of least cost these days.

If soy weren't so cheap we'd be overeating lard. Tweaking the saturation ratios on fats is the sort of thing that might add 15 minutes to your lifetime. Moderating the amount you eat and getting rid of the obesity will add 15 years.
Original Post by shane_paladin:

I think, if we specifically examine certain aspects of PUFAs, though, we have some interesting decisions to make. 

(1) Does the heating of certain oils, such as canola oil, and then using it to cook food, increase the toxins we consume?

Canola oil is actually the healthiest of oils you can use. With a 2:1 O-6 to O-3 ratio, it's the best of all the oils/fats. As for toxins, I'm not sure where you're getting that oils have toxins in them?

(2) Does using oils (canola, sunflower seed, corn, etc) stored improperly and then used in our cooking increase the toxins that we consume?

Again, not sure where you're getting this toxin thing.

(3) Since coconut oil (olive oil is also listed as "better" than most oils) is listed as the "go to" oil, when compared to corn, soybean, sunflower, etc, should we be using primarily coconut oil in our cooking?

You should primarily use canola oil and olive oil. While olive oil has a less desirable 13:1 O-6 to O-3 ratio, it is rich in antioxidants as well as MUFAs (oleic acid). Butter has a 7:1 O-6 to O-3 ratio, but doesn't have as many antioxidants. Peanut oil has a negligible amt. of O-3, sesame oil has a 138:1 ratio, which is by far the worst. Vegetable oil should ALWAYS be avoided.

(4) Should we go back to using lard and butter as opposed to the "bad" oils and all margarine?

What makes you think oils are bad? There are "good" ones and "bad" ones but why are you grouping them all as bad? If anything use butter, but stay away from lard and margarine.

(5) What do the unbiased, knowledgeable health experts, who have no "diet plan" to sell or company to represent or poorly researched views to espouse, advise us to consume as far as cooking oils, butter, lard, margarine, etc?

==========

Dang!  Just when I thought it was safe to jump into the oil, the PUFA shark rears its ugly head!

==========

Note:  fincharella: Thanks for posting this.  I found my net "research" rather interesting as far as reading various articles and/or parts of articles about PUFAs.

 

Original Post by fincharella:

I do understand that it is a ratio thing. I changed the post title to reflect more clearly the issue I am looking to discuss.

Glad we understand each other.

Original Post by shane_paladin:

I think, if we specifically examine certain aspects of PUFAs, though, we have some interesting decisions to make. 

(1) Does the heating of certain oils, such as canola oil, and then using it to cook food, increase the toxins we consume?

(2) Does using oils (canola, sunflower seed, corn, etc) stored improperly and then used in our cooking increase the toxins that we consume?

(3) Since coconut oil (olive oil is also listed as "better" than most oils) is listed as the "go to" oil, when compared to corn, soybean, sunflower, etc, should we be using primarily coconut oil in our cooking?

(4) Should we go back to using lard and butter as opposed to the "bad" oils and all margarine?

(5) What do the unbiased, knowledgeable health experts, who have no "diet plan" to sell or company to represent or poorly researched views to espouse, advise us to consume as far as cooking oils, butter, lard, margarine, etc?

==========

Dang!  Just when I thought it was safe to jump into the oil, the PUFA shark rears its ugly head!

==========

Note:  fincharella: Thanks for posting this.  I found my net "research" rather interesting as far as reading various articles and/or parts of articles about PUFAs.

Also, where might I find these "unbiased, knowledgeable health experts who have no "diet plan" to sell or company to represent"?

I read a blog post today that basically said: the best thing you can do for your health is to stop worrying about what you are eating. Of course, this dude has 200 other posts that tell me what I should be eating.  *sigh*

Original Post by armandounc:

Original Post by shane_paladin:

I think, if we specifically examine certain aspects of PUFAs, though, we have some interesting decisions to make. 

(1) Does the heating of certain oils, such as canola oil, and then using it to cook food, increase the toxins we consume?

Canola oil is actually the healthiest of oils you can use. With a 2:1 O-6 to O-3 ratio, it's the best of all the oils/fats. As for toxins, I'm not sure where you're getting that oils have toxins in them?

(2) Does using oils (canola, sunflower seed, corn, etc) stored improperly and then used in our cooking increase the toxins that we consume?

Again, not sure where you're getting this toxin thing.

(3) Since coconut oil (olive oil is also listed as "better" than most oils) is listed as the "go to" oil, when compared to corn, soybean, sunflower, etc, should we be using primarily coconut oil in our cooking?

You should primarily use canola oil and olive oil. While olive oil has a less desirable 13:1 O-6 to O-3 ratio, it is rich in antioxidants as well as MUFAs (oleic acid). Butter has a 7:1 O-6 to O-3 ratio, but doesn't have as many antioxidants. Peanut oil has a negligible amt. of O-3, sesame oil has a 138:1 ratio, which is by far the worst. Vegetable oil should ALWAYS be avoided.

(4) Should we go back to using lard and butter as opposed to the "bad" oils and all margarine?

What makes you think oils are bad? There are "good" ones and "bad" ones but why are you grouping them all as bad? If anything use butter, but stay away from lard and margarine.

(5) What do the unbiased, knowledgeable health experts, who have no "diet plan" to sell or company to represent or poorly researched views to espouse, advise us to consume as far as cooking oils, butter, lard, margarine, etc?

==========

Dang!  Just when I thought it was safe to jump into the oil, the PUFA shark rears its ugly head!

==========

Note:  fincharella: Thanks for posting this.  I found my net "research" rather interesting as far as reading various articles and/or parts of articles about PUFAs.

 

I think by toxicity shane means oxidation, and unsaturated fats are more prone (I know you know this, armand. Do you work for the rapeseed lobby?).

For me, the jury is still out on canola for cooking (unless, say, someone doesn't or can't eat fish). While I think it's *neato* they can make oil out of anything, I am avoiding refined oils for home cooking as much as possible for now.

WTH is the rapeseed lobby? I'm not sure who you take me for or why you think I work for any lobbying group?

Original Post by armandounc:

WTH is the rapeseed lobby? I'm not sure who you take me for or why you think I work for any lobbying group?

Rapeseed is canola, but they renamed it for marketing purposes (can you blame them?).  I was just trying to ruffle your feathers a little, since you are quite the ruffler yourself ;-)

Fincharella 1 - Armando 0

I do not have a horse in this race, nor a dog in this fight, other than I like reading and researching things about diet, foods, health, and exercise.

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"Our results suggest that the toxic properties of PUFAs deserve more attention."--http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/to x.10003/abstract

I read in numerous articles on numerous sites where the word "toxic" was used in connection to PUFAs.  Thus, I used it in that context, also, feeling "toxicity" and "toxic" carry the same connotation.

 

Wish I could read past the abstract. But from the little I can read all I have to say is - they tested for toxicity in daphnia. Which are very, very different from humans.

Anyway like I said I don't actually have access to the meat of the article so I can't say much!

Haha, reading this thread put a smile on my face! Thanks to all of you for being great at level-headed discussion.

fincharella, I also try to keep a reasonable n-3:n-6 ratio in my diet. I am not strongly anti-canola, however; I do use unrefined, organic canola oil in my baking... but only when I'm using fairly low temperatures. For me, the unrefined, organic canola oil is the only type of rapeseed oil that's guaranteed to not be (1) genetically modified nor (2) rancid before I purchase it. The oils I actively try to avoid are soybean oil, cottonseed oil, sesame oil (most of the time!), and sunflower oil. (And the hydrogenated ones, of course, but that's another topic!)

armandounc, I'm curious to know your thoughts on butter, since you seem somewhat against it. (Am I misinterpreting?) I think both butter and olive oil are very healthful sources of fats. Comparing them feels a bit like comparing oranges to apples, or however that expression goes... They both have their own particular benefits (and limitations), it seems to me. Can't wait to hear your thoughts, if you'll humour me! :)

Original Post by armandounc:

Wish I could read past the abstract. But from the little I can read all I have to say is - they tested for toxicity in daphnia. Which are very, very different from humans.

Anyway like I said I don't actually have access to the meat of the article so I can't say much!

I've got access to the article - want me to send it to you?

That would be swell!

I'm actually not that against using butter. It's definitely much better than using margarine or lard, IMO.

I also realize that in the kitchen you can't always use olive oil or canola oil - certain dishes definitely wouldn't work with them. But the fact remains that butter, per 100 g, is 81 g of fat, of which a whopping 51 g (63 %) are saturated and only 21 are monounsaturated, and 3 polyunsaturated. Butter also has a fair bit of cholesterol.

So while I don't think it's the healthiest option, I realize it's definitely the best option for certain dishes. And even in dishes where olive oil/canola oil would also work, butter isn't going to be much worse.

If someone presented me a dish made with lots of butter (i.e. mashed potatoes), I wouldn't think twice about eating it. It's not something I'd ever worry about. But at the same time I realize it may not be the healthiest option around!

I sent along a link that you should be able to access, armandounc!

Are you of the opinion that saturated fat and cholesterol are detrimental to health? (You seem fairly well-educated about a variety of matters, so I'm guessing you're familiar with both the lipid and the diet-heart hypotheses. Are you aware too that there is still a lack of a truly solid consensus regarding the impact (or lack thereof) of saturated fat and/or cholesterol on health?)

I would wholly agree that margarine is just a big, fat "NO". Lard, though? Lard has a respectable fatty acid profile. And would you favour coconut oil or coconut butter over pastured butter? Just curious because coconut oil is higher in saturated fat than butter, though I know the saturated fatty acid composition is different.

33 Replies (last)
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