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Improving the Omega 3 and Omega 6 Ratio In Our Diet - A Resource from Dr. William Lands

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by Winnie53, May 26, 2015.

  1. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    While researching cooking oils, again - (I currently have high-oleic sunflower oil in my pantry for high heat frying and mayonnaise; extra virgin olive oil on fresh green salads and cooked foods) - I came across this article, "Inflammation and the omega 3 omega 6 fatty acid balance". Here's an excerpt...

    "One of the world’s most respected authorities on essential omega fatty acids is Dr. Bill Lands. He is the former Senior Scientific Advisor to the Director of the National Institutes of Health, has authored more than 250 papers on this subject, and was one of the world’s 1,000 most-cited scientists in 1965–1978. Now in his 80s, Dr. Lands is on what he calls his “final mission,” to get this information to you.

    Dr. Lands has created a free tool by tapping the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Nutrient Database, which quantifies the nutrients in thousands of foods. Dr. Lands has created a simple rating system for the omega 3/6 balance in each of these foods: Foods with numbers on the plus side have more omega 3, those on the minus side have more omega 6. For instance, canned red kidney beans rank .5, but garbanzos (chick peas) rank -6.8, and roasted soy beans rand a whopping -23.2! So choose the foods with the highest positive score, and you're well on your way to an omega balance."

    Links are provided to 7 lists by Dr. Landis:

    1. Cereals, breads and grains
    2. Vegetables
    3. Fruit
    4. Dairy and eggs
    5. Meats, fish and legumes
    6. Oils and sweets
    7. Spices and prepared foods

    Oils begin on page 4 or the "Oils and sweets" list. I was pleased to see high-oleic sunflower oil high on the list. Read the entire article here - (it explains why it's so important to limit omega 6 foods in our diet)...

    http://omega6.wellwise.org/inflammation-omega-3-omega-6-fatty-acid-balance
     
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  2. Lesleywo

    Lesleywo LADA · Well-Known Member

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    Um .... I don't really understand this at all! My understanding is the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 should be 4:1. And isn't Sunflower Oil an Omega 6?

    Omega 3 found mainly in Walnuts, Oily Fish, Flaxseed, Chia etc. Too much Omega 6 = inflammatory. Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory.

    What am I missing here .. or have I had too much coffee? :confused:
     
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  3. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Lesleywo, the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 in our diet, not individual foods, should ideally be 1:1 which is not easy to do.

    The challenge with cooking oils is finding one that has both a high heat smoke point and is lower in polyunsaturated fats and omega 6's.

    High-oleic sunflower oil has a high heat smoke point of 450 degrees F (232 degrees C) and has a lower score than MOST polyunsaturated cooking oils.

    Here's the comparison...

    High-oleic sunflower oil (1 oz/28 g):
    Score: -3.9
    omega-3, 53.8 mg; omega-6, 1,010 mg; saturated fat 2.7 g; monounsaturated fat, 23.4 g; polyunsaturated fat, 1.1 g
    For results, change serving size to 1 oz... http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fats-and-oils/623/2

    High or mid-oleic sunflower oil (NuSun)
    Score: not known, but less healthy than high-oleic.
    (1 oz/28 g): omega-3, 10.4 mg; omega-6, 8,099 mg; saturated fat 2.5 g; monosaturated fat, 16.1 g; polyunsaturated fat 8.1 g
    For results, change serving size to 1 oz... http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fats-and-oils/7945/2

    I could not find comparable nutritional data on linoleic sunflower oil, but it's score is -44.8 on Lands' list.

    Here's more information comparing high oleic, NuSun, and linoleic sunflower oils... http://www.sunflowernsa.com/oil/oil-profiles/

    When looking at Lands' list, best omega 3 to omega 6 ratios are at the top, worst are at the bottom.

    Hope this added information makes this less confusing.

    Are vegetable cooking oils healthy for us? No.

    So if you have to use one for cooking, the goal is to find the least unhealthy one and limit its use. I use high oleic sunflower oil for mayonnaise and high heat cooking and extra virgin olive oil for fresh green salads and cooked foods. If you're still confused, it's probably because you haven't yet compared the nutritional information on the different vegetable oils used for cooking. :)
     
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    #3 Winnie53, May 26, 2015 at 3:00 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2015
  4. NoCrbs4Me

    NoCrbs4Me I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I use macadamia nut oil. Sunflower oil is really high in omega 6 and I wouldn't use it.
     
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  5. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    NoCrbs4Me, I don't use linoleic sunflower oil, I use high oleic sunflower oil. Big difference.

    Just looked up macadamia nut oil. Interesting stuff... http://www.mac-nut-oil.com/mac-nut-oil-faqs.php

    My current oil has a smoke point of 450 degrees F; macadamia nut oil has a smoke point of 410 degrees F. Works for me.

    Expensive, but I think I'm going to switch to it. I've been in search of a healthy cooking oil for months.

    Thanks! :)
     
  6. NoCrbs4Me

    NoCrbs4Me I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome. Yes, it's expensive, but it tastes great. One other great thing about macadamia nut oil is it does not oxidize. I also like macadamia nuts as an occasional snack.
     
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  7. Lesleywo

    Lesleywo LADA · Well-Known Member

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    I only use olive oil for the odd stir fry and on salads. I LOVE butter but am giving it a miss at the moment after I was told to take statins because of my elevated cholesterol (I'm not, BTW). I've not tried macadamia nut oil..... I often eat the nuts as they're meant to increase HDL. And of course they taste good! Today I bought some Macadamia Nut Milk .. haven't tried it yet but it has half the carbs of normal milk so thought I'd give it a whirl.
     
  8. phoenix

    phoenix Type 1 · Expert

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    You might like to read these 2 articles.
    one from Mark Sisson and the other from a workshop set up by the FSA in the UK
    Though from very different perspectives, they come to similar conclusions
    One of the major conclusions of the workshop was
    :" Based upon theoretical and scientific grounds (described earlier), use of the n-6:n-3 fatty acid ratio to estimate CVD risk should be abandoned "
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2755100/
    From Mark Sissons
    "It appears as if the problem with low ratios of omega-3 to omega-6 is the lack of omega-3, not so much the omega-6. In studies that replace saturated fats with omega-6 fats, the only ones that show benefit are those that also include omega-3s with the omega-6s, while those that replace SFA with just omega-6 increase the risk of death. As long as you’re eating enough fish and other seafood, pastured animals and their fat (and eggs), and/or high quality fish oil supplements, whole food sources of omega-6 shouldn’t increase inflammation. The ratio is a helpful way to monitor your omega-3 and omega-6 intake, but it’s not a physiological law"
    ( NB being in Europe, t most of our beef and dairy comes from cows that graze on grass for much of the year; unlike the big US feedlot fed animals; )
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-the-omega-3omega-6-ratio-may-not-matter-after-all/#axzz3bDumRp65

    If everyone ate the 2 portions of oil fish a week recommended then that would have some benefit and obviously alter the balance within the diet as a whole ; at the moment in the UK 7/10 don't eat any so the average person eats less than a third of a portion a week
     
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  9. NoCrbs4Me

    NoCrbs4Me I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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  10. phoenix

    phoenix Type 1 · Expert

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    Yes, she's a lady that has been concerned about the ratio for a long time. (lots of papers on the subject)
    but her recommendations to get the right balance amount to eating what she calls a diet based on that eaten in Crete ie a Med diet. )
    rhttp://www.amazon.com/The-Omega-Diet-Lifesaving-Nutritional/dp/0060930233
    That was a mainly plant based diet, with olive oil , seafood, some dairy, a little meat some beans and lots of wild (if you can't pick your own mache is supposed to be a good alternative for omega 3) bread made from less refined flour (not whole grain though)
    They certainly didn't eat is lots of processed foods but I doubt any of the inhabitants contemplated their omega 3: 6 ratios. That's why I think what both the scientist and Mark Sisson says makes sense.
    Eat more oily fish ( it doesn't have to be expensive salmon, mackerel , herring ,crab and whitebait would be more traditional in the UK ) eat some walnuts , add some beans etc
    http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=75

    But don't go the other way either and eat too much omega 3.( people on warfarin need to take particular care).Omega 3, makes the blood less likely to clot.
    One of the very first researchers into omega 3s decided to live off an 'eskimo' diet. He procured a seal. Kept it frozen and hacked bits off for his meals . His blood clotting time rose and when pruning roses the scratches caused him to have blood running into his boots. He couldn't have a routine operation , his friend, a medical doctor advised him that he could have the operation but that would be the last thing he did.
     
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  11. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

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    So I'm ok to eat caviar??
     
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  12. NoCrbs4Me

    NoCrbs4Me I reversed my Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I suspect that the omega 3:6 ratio is a surrogate for factory processed food intake of people in the western world. The closer the ratio to 1:1, the less processed food.
     
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    #12 NoCrbs4Me, May 26, 2015 at 7:34 PM
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  13. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Phoenix, the first article is too technical for me to understand after a quick reading, but the purpose of the meeting was, as I understood it, to decide where to go next with their research. I wish I could visit you in France so you could teach me how to read, understand, and interpret studies. What's easy and effortless for you is not for me. Mark on the other hand is understandable. :)

    Reading Mark's article, I think what he's saying is that whole foods with omega-6 have a place in our diet but polyunsaturated oils do not. I agree with him. I eat two ounces of raw nuts every day: walnuts, almonds, and pecans, also avocados. Interestingly, each of these foods all have uniquely different nutritional profiles including omega-6.

    There are three times when my health has tanked, the first when my father was dying, the second was when I went to work at a popular fish and chip restaurant, and the third when I worked in a highly demanding job for 12 years, which I left in January.

    I recovered quickly after my father's death, likely due to the resiliency of youth and having a young child who needed me, but worked in the restaurant for three years. For the first six months, I ate deep fried, fresh, breaded cod, halibut, occassionally oysters, and deep fried, frozen, sliced potatoes with skin on, 5 days a week for six months (until I got very sick and switched to eating ground sirloin burgers and baked potato with butter). At that point, I was formally diagnosed with IBS. It took me three to six months to recover from that flare by making significant changes to my diet. In my last job, 12 years of stress and worsening diabetes took their toll. My health is slowly improving, but it's going to take a while to restore my health, in particular, my heart health.

    So to take your point further, it's not just about what we eat. Stress is a player too.

    My understanding about fats is that saturated fats make stronger cell walls than polyunsaturated fats. My other understanding is aligned with what Mark said. Polyunsaturated fats from whole foods, not cooking oils with a lot of polyunsaturated fat, are fine because the other nutrients in our food, be it from an omega-6 containing whole food or other whole foods in our healthy, varied, whole food diet balance the omega-6. He also points out what I've read elsewhere, that too much omega-6 in the diet, from cooking oils heavy in polyunsaturated fats for example, competes with omega-3 in the body, which ultimately does lead to inflammation, a major player in chronic disease.

    I worry when these discussions/debates get too technical because I don't want to mislead anyone into thinking that deep frying with fat high in omega-6 is a healthy choice. It's not. And folks have a hard time giving up deep fried food, not too mention starchy sugars when we first begin eating paleo/LCHF. Which brings to mind another problem, AGE's - (they taste so good) - a problem of which I'm aware, but haven't yet tackled.
     
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  14. phoenix

    phoenix Type 1 · Expert

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    I'd agree about the deep frying.
    If you aren't doing that much frying then you aren't going to take in lots of oil from that source.
    (I suspect much of the problem from trans fats originated in the deep fat fryer)

    (edit: I actually did a post grad course in research methodology but that was in psychology. The last 10 years, I've done a lot of reading and some more courses but the more I learn, the more I realise how complex the body is; to put it tritely , there are no easy answers)
     
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  15. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. The way I learn best is by associating with smart people who keep up with and report on their understanding of the best research, via their books, online lectures, and posts in places like this. As for the deep fryer oil at the restaurant, next time I see the cook I worked with, I'ill ask him how often they changed the oil and what type of oil they used. I worked there 1999 - 2002.
     
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  16. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious. Do you think the rating system Dr. Lands created to show foods with good to poor omega 3 to omega 6 balance is helpful? (See original post below)...

     
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  17. Lesleywo

    Lesleywo LADA · Well-Known Member

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    Not really .... surely the intake of Omega 6's/3's over the course of the day is what matters? We're advised to eat 2 serves of oily fish a week, not 1/3rd of a serve per day. And personally I definitely wouldn't be bothering with that sort of detail.... it's a full time job doing what's needed to keep my blood sugars and cholesterol under control, don't need to make matters even more complicated! :)
     
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  18. Celeriac

    Celeriac Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I prefer to use organic ghee for fried eggs, frittata, omelette - anything delicate. It has a light flavour and won't overheat easily. If I run out, I'll use organic butter with organic Extra Virgin olive oil.

    Although I do cook with organic Extra Virgin olive oil, I never let it smoke and never reuse it. If I want to roast something, I'll use goose fat, duck fat, beef dripping or lard. They all seem so processed to me, that I don't get a distinctive flavour. I buy French when I can get them.

    No way would I ever use vegetable oil, margarine, pomace, vegetable ghee, vegetable shortening, spreadable 'butter', rapeseed oil or sunflower oil to cook with. Either because they taste disgusting and/or are very processed. I have some organic Extra Virgin coconut oil but I haven't acquired the taste for it - but it's great as body moisturiser.

    For dressings on salads I use the olive oil, but also things like sesame, hazelnut and walnut oils. I use sesame oil in houmous too.

    We never deep-fry in this house and never re-use oils, which are also kept out of direct sunligt.

    As far as fish goes, I am eating that twice a week, probably more in summer - not just salmon, but also swordfish, herring, sardines and trout.
     
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  19. shelz

    shelz Type 2 · Member

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    I've been using coconut oil, having read that it had a high smoke point. That's clearly rubbish! How annoying. I think I'll switch to Rice Bran oil, as that looks far better for cooking.
     
  20. DLike

    DLike · Newbie

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    Was looking for alternatives for healthier oil. So I understood do not use sunflower oil any more. Thought olive oil would be my choice. Thank you for bringing up macadamia nut oil, need to try it.
     
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