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View Full Version : Omega 3 to 6 balance calculation


Tony Ferous
06-09-2007, 10:58 PM
Take a deep breath and please bear with me, lets thrash this topic to death( again!).

Im eating full paleo, with few carbs from tubers at the moment, so i need to up my fat intake to keep maintain calories as i dont want to lose weight.

Steve Liberati metioned 'skin break outs', a sign of high inflammation, which i suffer from, so i decided to calculated my omega 6 to 3 ratio, instead of assuming all was good, my diet is sooo clean, what could be wrong, right??

The fatty acid ratio usually suggested is 1-1 to 2-1 omega 6 to omega 3.

Here are my calulcations, fitday.com doesnt do omega ratios unfortuately. I pulled the stats from nutrientdata.com, a great site.


Example daily calories, aiming for 3000cals per day:
protein 150g*4=600cals from 6*100g portions of lamb
carbs 50g*4=200cals from misc fruit/veg


Which gives 800 cals of protein and carbs, so i need 2200 from fat.
2200/9cal per gram of fat = 244g from fat, wow that sounds alot!!

Fat break down per 1 portion of example fatty foods:

Portion size Total Fat Omega 6 Omega 3
100g lamb leg 12g fat O-6=320 mg O-3=153 mg
1 tbsp olive oil 14g fat O-6=1318mg O-3=103mg
1 avocado 29g fat O-6=3396 mg O-3=221 mg

My formatting is not very readable eh?
Lamb actually contains mostly saturated and mono fats, not polys!
Mmm, Olive oil actually contains alot of Omega 6!

So, i need this many portions to obtain 244g of fat:

Total Fat Omega 6 Omega 3
6 portions of lamb 72g fat O-6=1920 O-3=918
8 tbps of olive oil 112g fat O-6=10544 O-3=824
2 avos 58g fat O-6=6792 O-3=442

Totals 242g fat O-6=19256 O-3=2184

Giving a horrendous ratio of=89%o6 - 11%o3 or about 9-1! Oh no!

So you can see, supplementing with fish oil is essential.

So i think i need to at least supplement with 8g of omega 3/fish oil to give me a ratio of 2-1 omega 6 to 3
(so total omega 6 of 19256mg and omega 3 of 2184 plus 8000mg=10184mg) a ratio of about 66%o6 to 33%o3(ie an acceptable 2-1 ratio).
And i guess even fish oil contains some omega 6 eh? I didnt factor that in.

Notes to self, and y'all:

-Perhaps organic lamb would have an even better ratio 6/3 ratio;
-If i substitued 'healthy ' chick thigh or nuts for the above foods the ratio would have been far worse! Lamb is surprisingly low in omega 6. No, i dont work in the lamb industry!
-Perhaps i should subsitute some coconut or macadania oil for olive oil;
'athletes' should i guess skew their ratio to take in even more omega 3 to prevent inflammtaion, so maybe a 1-1 ratio.
-Eating more tubers would assist in keeping a better ratio, though screw my insulin stability;
-Stats for chicken thigh, no skin
100g portion=11g fat, 2100 mg of O6 and 190mg of O3


Comments very welcome.

Greg Davis
06-10-2007, 03:19 AM
If you can get grass-fed meats it because much less of an issue..

Or to reduce costs US Wellness meats (the most popular source of grass-fed meats in the US I think) also sells grass-fed beef lard and pemmican.

Thats one suggestion. Otherwise yea with grain-fed meats you have to constantly be offsetting with o-3s from other sources which I doubt is as healthy as not consuming so much o-6s in the first place. A good fish oil supplement won't have much o-6s.