T Nation

Balancing Omegas


#1

Been trying to do the elimination diet, and as a result it's all turkey turkey turkey.

I used cron-o-meter to have a looksie at how my diet was going to look in terms of nutrients and it's showing a fiendishly high omega 6 content. I'm at about 20g of omega 6.

So how best to balance this? Surely it's not just a case of taking 20g of fish oil?

This isn't something I've ever really thought about so I'm at a bit of a loss and will appreciate any input.


#2

It’s true that there are any number of authors that speak of “balances” between various things. But in most cases the body is not, so to speak, doing math to balance one number vs the other, or having a receptor that is experiencing either agonism or antagonism and there’s a desired ratio. It’s almost always an oversimplification when an author or a study goes on the basis of “balance” and often leads to wrong results. DHA and EPA are good things, certainly, but don’t actually balance excess linoleic acid.

A major problem with linoleic acid (different from conjugated linoleic acid) is formation of oxidized linoleic acid in LDL. That’s a process which is best addressed by having only healthful levels of linoleic acid, rather than balancing.

I would aim to have linoleic acid no more than about 10% of total fat content, so for example if your present fat intake is 100 g, aim to cut linoleic acid to no more than 10 g/day, or even less if wanting to more quickly reduce buildup that has occurred.


#3

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
It’s true that there are any number of authors that speak of “balances” between various things. But in most cases the body is not, so to speak, doing math to balance one number vs the other, or having a receptor that is experiencing either agonism or antagonism and there’s a desired ratio. It’s almost always an oversimplification when an author or a study goes on the basis of “balance” and often leads to wrong results. DHA and EPA are good things, certainly, but don’t actually balance excess linoleic acid.

A major problem with linoleic acid (different from conjugated linoleic acid) is formation of oxidized linoleic acid in LDL. That’s a process which is best addressed by having only healthful levels of linoleic acid, rather than balancing.

I would aim to have linoleic acid no more than about 10% of total fat content, so for example if your present fat intake is 100 g, aim to cut linoleic acid to no more than 10 g/day, or even less if wanting to more quickly reduce buildup that has occurred.

[/quote]

interesting, Bill. I’d always heard it was important to strive for a 1:1 ratio of 3:6.

I think limiting my omega 6 to 10g a day could be difficult on the elimination diet, but doable, I think.

So say I limited my linoleic acid to 10g with 100g a day fat consumption, how much omega 3 should I be consuming?


#4

I agree with the widespread recommendation of 2 to 4 grams of combined EPA/DHA, preferably at least half DHA.

Counting simply as Omega-6 can fail to work well because, for example, 2-4 g of ALA would be 2-4 g of Omega-6 but would not be very good.

It should be pretty easy to keep linoleic acid down to 10% of fat intake: after eliminating or greatly reducing intake of 20th/21st century processed oils, soy-fed chicken fat, and soy-fed pig fat, there aren’t that many foods that are above 10% and it’s easy to moderate their intake where overall balance will come to 10% or less.

If greatly reducing the above, then the only likely major offender in your diet could be the peanut, if you’re a heavy eater. Other than that you should easily, naturally reach a value of no more than about 10%.


#5

[quote]Yogi wrote:

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
It’s true that there are any number of authors that speak of “balances” between various things. But in most cases the body is not, so to speak, doing math to balance one number vs the other, or having a receptor that is experiencing either agonism or antagonism and there’s a desired ratio. It’s almost always an oversimplification when an author or a study goes on the basis of “balance” and often leads to wrong results. DHA and EPA are good things, certainly, but don’t actually balance excess linoleic acid.

A major problem with linoleic acid (different from conjugated linoleic acid) is formation of oxidized linoleic acid in LDL. That’s a process which is best addressed by having only healthful levels of linoleic acid, rather than balancing.

I would aim to have linoleic acid no more than about 10% of total fat content, so for example if your present fat intake is 100 g, aim to cut linoleic acid to no more than 10 g/day, or even less if wanting to more quickly reduce buildup that has occurred.

[/quote]

interesting, Bill. I’d always heard it was important to strive for a 1:1 ratio of 3:6.

I think limiting my omega 6 to 10g a day could be difficult on the elimination diet, but doable, I think.

So say I limited my linoleic acid to 10g with 100g a day fat consumption, how much omega 3 should I be consuming?
[/quote]

What are you eating that is high in omega 6 or causing a high overall intake? I have eaten up to 5000 calories and even then my highest using cron-o-meter was 12-15g.


#6

[quote]xXSeraphimXx wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
It’s true that there are any number of authors that speak of “balances” between various things. But in most cases the body is not, so to speak, doing math to balance one number vs the other, or having a receptor that is experiencing either agonism or antagonism and there’s a desired ratio. It’s almost always an oversimplification when an author or a study goes on the basis of “balance” and often leads to wrong results. DHA and EPA are good things, certainly, but don’t actually balance excess linoleic acid.

A major problem with linoleic acid (different from conjugated linoleic acid) is formation of oxidized linoleic acid in LDL. That’s a process which is best addressed by having only healthful levels of linoleic acid, rather than balancing.

I would aim to have linoleic acid no more than about 10% of total fat content, so for example if your present fat intake is 100 g, aim to cut linoleic acid to no more than 10 g/day, or even less if wanting to more quickly reduce buildup that has occurred.

[/quote]

interesting, Bill. I’d always heard it was important to strive for a 1:1 ratio of 3:6.

I think limiting my omega 6 to 10g a day could be difficult on the elimination diet, but doable, I think.

So say I limited my linoleic acid to 10g with 100g a day fat consumption, how much omega 3 should I be consuming?
[/quote]

What are you eating that is high in omega 6 or causing a high overall intake? I have eaten up to 5000 calories and even then my highest using cron-o-meter was 12-15g.
[/quote]

ground turkey. I’m doing the elimination diet and it’s one of the few meats not verboten


#7

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
I agree with the widespread recommendation of 2 to 4 grams of combined EPA/DHA, preferably at least half DHA.

Counting simply as Omega-6 can fail to work well because, for example, 2-4 g of ALA would be 2-4 g of Omega-6 but would not be very good.

It should be pretty easy to keep linoleic acid down to 10% of fat intake: after eliminating or greatly reducing intake of 20th/21st century processed oils, soy-fed chicken fat, and soy-fed pig fat, there aren’t that many foods that are above 10% and it’s easy to moderate their intake where overall balance will come to 10% or less.

If greatly reducing the above, then the only likely major offender in your diet could be the peanut, if you’re a heavy eater. Other than that you should easily, naturally reach a value of no more than about 10%.[/quote]

Thanks for that. It’s all this god damn turkey I need to eat! Haha.

It’s only for a few weeks so I doubt it’ll do me all that much harm.

God I miss beef.


#8

Yes, what really matters is chronic intake. Going for a few weeks as you presently are is no issue at all.

I’d never happened to look up fatty acid profile of turkey as presently raised. (If not for historically and biologically abnormal feed that now presumably is given to the animals, their fatty acid profile almost undoubtedly would be healthful.)

Just to have an idea, what does your source say about it?


#9

I have read a few times that omegas 3 supplementation do show effects after 6 to 10 weeks minimum, is it bro science ?


#10

I wouldn’t be able to put a time figure on it as it’s a progressive kind of thing. But I’d agree that instant improvement doesn’t occur, and as a rough statement, sure, allowing a couple of months to evaluate is good advice.


#11

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
Just to have an idea, what does your source say about it?[/quote]

I use cron-o-meter.

If I just use the generic ‘ground turkey’ option it says that 100g contains 4.3g of omega 6.

If I use the option for 97% fat free ground turkey (which is what I believe the turkey I buy is) it says it contains 0 omega 6 but I don’t see how that can be the case.

I’m questioning the accuracy of the source, tbh.