T Nation

Type of Fat

I get a lot of my daily fat intake from almonds and natural P.B. Am I getting mostly omega 6’s or omega 3’s? I’m trying to increase my omega 3’s by eating salmon a few times a week. Would inceasing my flax intake help with omega 3’s? After reading (and re-reading)JB’s Fat Roundtable I came away with the notion that flax will inrease both 3’s and 6’s while fish oil will only increase 3’s. Am I right?

Boss, go easy on the almonds and PB; they’re almost all Om6. You want a 1:1 ratio of Om3:Om6 so you’ll definetly want to use flax oil (about 1tbsp per 50lbs body weight) and get some fish oil caps from a good company (the usual recommendation is about 6g EPA/DHA per day. Don’t bother trying to supplement Omega6 b/c their pretty much in high proportion in everything we eat these days.


Oh by the way, flax and fish oil will both increase your Om3. flax oil is about 4:1 in favour of Om3. But you must note that fish oil contains EPA/DHA which is what the Om3 fat gets converted INTO. Flax oil contains Om3 (which is Alpha-linolenic Acid) gets converted to EPA once in the body, but bear in mide that the GENEROUS estimate is that about 75% of the Om3 get converted (it’s probably far less than that) So if you want to maximize your body’s ability to covert Om3 to EPA you need to limit your Om6’s big time to a 1:1 ratio with Om6.

hope this carifies…

Thanks for the help…couple of other questions…I have flax capsules, the serving size is 6 capsules which they say is 6g. The polysaturated amount is 3.8g. 1Tbsp/50lbs of bodyweight was recomended…how much is this in what i have? Also, the EPA/DHA ect. are all listed in mg on the label…how do i convert this to grams (I knew i should have paid attention in math class!!)

I understand the ratio thing…however does this mean i should take flax OR fish oils or do i take both of them at the same time?

Thanks for the help, sorry if some of these questions seem basic (or dumb), but the whole fat thing is very confusing to me.

While nuts and nut butters (i.e. almonds, natural peanut butter, etc.) contain a small amount of polyunsaturates–mostly n-6s with no n-3s–this is not the predominant source of lipid in these foodstuffs.

As a matter of fact, they are more densely laden with monounsaturates. Monos are critical for optimum T levels and cardiovascular health (i.e. lower triglycerides, high HDL, etc.), so don’t neglect them.

N-3s are not the only source of fat you need to take in!!!

Hey Boss, 1st off, i’d recommend buying the liquid flax oil, you’ll get more for your buck that way, and I find it’s easier to take that way (just put a tbsp in a salad, with meat, whatever)

2nd: what kind of flax capsules are you using? b/c if it says the amount of EPA/DHA on the label, they may added it in. Reg flax oil does NOT contain EPA&DHA - it must be converted in the body. In any case, a tbsp of flax has about 14g of total fat, so pop enough caps to total 14g. Also, do a little looking around in you area and find a GOOD brand. Flax oil very suseptible to rancidity, so look for a good brand. It should be certified organic, and cold-expeller pressed. Don’t buy anything that isn’t prepared that way.

I’d say yes to taking both flax and fish oil. If for no other reason than to get a more rounded dose of fats. Flax also contains a host of other nutrients like ligans, so it has benefits all on it’s own

And look for a good brand of fish oil too. Find a clean one that uses molecular distillation - cheaper brands are just selling you shit.


Timbo - true, true, monos are the predonminant source in nuts, but I was was jsut making the point that b/c of the huge ratio of n-6:n-3 in nuts that if you eat alot of them, it can skew your over intake. I mean, almonds are 25% n-6 with virtually no n-3, so if you do eat alot of nuts and seeds, eventually I think the intake will be sub-optimal. (although walnuts would be an exception) I prefer to get my monos through olive oil. I love my nuts man, and I do think they do serve a valuable role in diet (for fiber and minerals above that of fat) but I do think one should moderate them.

M…What’s this moderation jargon?:wink: Just kidding. I realized your point of illustrating the fact that nuts (other than walnuts) don’t contain n-3s. However, I see far too many people without fat balance.

That is, many focus solely on n-3s (i.e. fish oil), while others totally ignore EFAs and don’t utlize flax or fish oils.

Imagine you are munching on a bag of peanuts while you read the T-forum. First a post encouraging fat and nut consumption-- immediately followed by a big satisfying handful of peanuts. Next a message stating peanuts will skew fat profiles-- pushes peanuts aside. Then a rebutal in favor of peanuts-- big handful again.

This is getting stressful. :slight_smile:

Since we’re on this issue already, I’ll ask a question I’ve been wondering about. Is the converstion of ALA in flax to EPA and DHA limited by consuming other EPA/DHA sources? In other words, let’s say I consume enough flax to net 2.5g of EPA and DHA. Then let’s say I start taking 20 fish oil caps a day. Can I still count on getting 2.5g of EPA/DHA from the same amount of flax, or will my body halt conversion once it realizes I’m getting it from somewhere else?

Ti-Bo: I agree it is all about balance, and it seems that people tend to swing from one extreme to the other. I think we also have to bear in mind that most everthing we eat that does have fat in it has a high proportion of n-6’s. Commercial eggs, beef, chicken, pork, all grains (while having low total values of n-6) have a high ratio of
n-6:n-3. It is with this reasoning that I don’t go out of my way to include n-6, b/c it’s already in everything. But I think we may be splitting hairs a bit. If you’re taking flax oil, fish oil, and some nuts and seeds, I’d say that’s pretty good start for fat consumption. And perhaps you didn’t pick up on my earlier joke ahem
…I love my nuts…

Mckee - Hope that above clears things up for you a bit… but just to disturb the shit a bit more, you’d probably be better off putting down the peanuts and eatng some almonds, brazils, walnuts etc… even the Berardi doesn’t recommend peanuts anymore…

Bras: that’s a damn good question. I’ve read something on the topic of that somewhere, but I think it was on Mercola’s website, and you know how that goes, sometimes the alarms are a little louder than they need to be about a particular subject.

But having said that, I haven’t come across any difintive studies done that say that EPA/DHA in the system negatively impact the conv. of ALA. I think as long as the body has use for it (read: you’re not taking in a great excess) the body will convert.

I think the bigger factor is probably cultural heritage. As in, if you ancestry developed eating lots of fish you may have a muted ability to convert ALA to EPA/DHA due to a lack of need for it. But bear in mind this again is speculation.


I cant throw out a lot of technical jargin like most others here, but I would like to state that eating things like nut butters, and mixed nuts have a very posistive affect for me mentally, the satisfaction I recieve from slamming a scoop of cashew butter before bed is unreal, I know Timbo feels me on this one. The only problem is stopping at that scoop, which is a whole other post in itself, eat them nuts and them butters, grind the fish and the flax, and you will be a machine

Since we are on this topic, i was wondering how much natural pj you guys take in. I usually take two heaping table spoons and blend it with GROW for at least one or two of my three daily shakes.
Is this bad or good. I use it while i am bulking and dieting as it is almost my sole source of fats. I realize i need to take some Omega 3 fatty acids but what does anyone else throwing in Natural PJ like i do? It makes for a kick ass shake!

I will have one serving a day right before bed, I weight it out, to make sure that I am getting just that, then I throw a little extra, cant help it, the stuff is just so dang good, I learned this one from Timbo. Throw some nut butter into a cold egg white, then put it in the ice box for a couple minutes, then enjoy. I like to add a little GROW in the mix, oh it’s awesome, perfect for the Easter season, as it was the closest I could get to a cadberry egg

J-Dawg…Have a Cadbury Egg for Timbo. It’s all good;-) Either that or a Reese’s Egg. You’re missing out if you don’t. Hey, there’s PB in the Reese’s at least:-)

Brazzy and Mayflower, you boys bring up some interesting issues, and definitely something that I could only offer speculation. Without any certainty in my voice, I refuse to address that question. However, it definitely warrants further investigation. I’ll be your Huckleberry.

Mayflower, I’m feeling ya on the I like my nuts comment. I’m just breezing through the comments right now due to lack of time. Sorry, big dog, but you know that I’m the biggest tongue-in-cheek fool around here. So I appreciate that more than anyone:-)

dont worry timbo, on Easter with the fam there was plenty of candy flying around, and I was certainly not the one passing it up, as a matter of fact I do recall having a cadberry egg, but it wasnt as good as the little PB filled chocolate eggs I found myself snacking on all day, man I love those family outings.