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View Full Version : Fat: sources and balance


Liam Dougherty Springer
06-01-2008, 09:20 AM
There is so much controversy in nutrition over dietary fat. Every book, article or study I have read has a different expression regarding what the proper source, and balance of our dietary fat and what our overall intake should be.

I have followed every approach to "proper" dieting I have found (for a given time) and have found a fat intake and balance that I enjoy. Basically allot and often, from mostly non animal sources, fish oil at every significant meal (about 3 grams per) and I pay attention to the balance of Mono-un, Poly-un, and saturated Fats. The balance I roughly go for is 1:1:1, however the saturated fat dropping lower happens quite often even significantly at times and this does not worry me in the least.

When my saturated fat content is high the supplemented fat to balance the equation is coconut oil or dehydrated shavings. I love the stuff.

This is the portion of the nutritional controversy I have some interest in. I was turned on too the beneficial properties of coconut fat from speaking to a man who is a relative encyclopedia of cutting edge dietary information familiar with all of the major studies and diets involved with low carbohydrate, high fat, and Paleolithic era derived diets. Still as I have researched the subject on my own I really have had to dig to find the good information on the saturated fat found in coconut oil. Here is the good information in a nutshell [URL="http://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/features/cocgood.html"]

So I have been using it in copious amounts at times for increased energy needs and the other stuff that comes along with it does not seem to suck at all. I am sure to balance the fat through out the day with nuts and nut oils, Flax seed and sesame seed oil, avocados, and olives and olive oils.

However I wonder if the saturated fat in coconut oil really would effect my dietary ratio as far as nutritional fat absorption if I didn't balance it with the monos and polys?

The reason I wonder is due to the fact that the saturated fat in coconut oils are primarily medium chain fatty acids they aren't even brought into the available energy source through stored fat, but instead directly through the liver from the stomach.

I am extremely interested in other opinions and comments I am by no means an authority on this subject.

sarena kopciel
06-01-2008, 09:30 AM
http://www.modernforager.com/blog/2008/05/29/te-oils-and-how-to-use-them/

Liam Dougherty Springer
06-01-2008, 10:15 AM
Trying to set up the link I failed to in my post

http://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/features/cocgood.html

Darryl Shaw
06-02-2008, 06:27 AM
Liam, if you're repalacing carbs with coconut oil and other fats based on the current nutritonal fad for low carb high fat diets you're making the same mistake we made ten thousand years ago when we switched from our natural diet of roots, shoots, tubers, fruit, berries, nuts, seeds, fish and relatively lean meats rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients for a diet of calorie dense nutrient poor grains.

Liam Dougherty Springer
06-02-2008, 08:03 AM
No I eat all of the foods you just mentioned every day. The idea was more a discussion on what people liked as far as sources for that fat and what sort of balance they feel is best int their diet.

Mike ODonnell
06-02-2008, 08:13 AM
Best balance is probably majority MUFA, some healthy sat fats and some PUFA (making a balance of 3/6). Here's a whole thing on the Inuits and their ratios (http://projectfit.org/iflifeblog/2008/04/13/the-inuit-paradox-high-fat-lower-heart-disease-and-cancer/http://projectfit.org/iflifeblog/2008/04/13/the-inuit-paradox-high-fat-lower-heart-disease-and-cancer/)....which was high in MUFA (not Sat like most people would think).

Liam Dougherty Springer
06-04-2008, 06:03 PM
What do people feel is the best balance of 3 and 6 and I have been seeing alot of stuff on ALA being a bad source of Omega 3. It is not my primary source I cosume fish oil like its availiable for a limitted time only but I also eat alot of walnuts and often use equal portions of walnut and seasame oils for a dressing.

Am I making it harder for my body to efficiantly use the better sources of 3s and 6s in my diet.

Craig Loizides
06-05-2008, 07:20 PM
I try to get the majority of my fats from grass ged meats and wild fish. I use a little bit of olive oil, fish oil, and nuts, but not a lot. I like to keep my PUFA low, but I don't worry about it too much.

As far as ratio goes I've seen 2:1 omega6: omega3 recommended. A lot of people like walnuts because they have a pretty good ratio(about 4.2:1) but they have so much PUFA compared to most other nuts that they can actually hurt your ratio more than others. Let's say on an average day you get 16g omega 6 and 8g omega3. You decide to have a 200 calorie snack of nuts(about a 1/4 cup). With walnuts you get 11.6g:2.8g and with almonds you get 4.2g:0g. This brings your total daily ratio from 2:1 up to 2.56 with walnuts and 2.53 with almonds. It's not a big difference, but just shows that you need to look at more than just the ratio when looking at a food. The amount of PUFA also matters.

Mike ODonnell
06-05-2008, 07:30 PM
a related and very interesting read on all this

Unsaturated fatty acids: Nutritionally essential, or toxic? (http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/unsaturatedfats.shtml)

Darryl Shaw
06-06-2008, 05:41 AM
What do people feel is the best balance of 3 and 6 and I have been seeing alot of stuff on ALA being a bad source of Omega 3. It is not my primary source I cosume fish oil like its availiable for a limitted time only but I also eat alot of walnuts and often use equal portions of walnut and seasame oils for a dressing.

Am I making it harder for my body to efficiantly use the better sources of 3s and 6s in my diet.

I tend to think that nature knows best and as long as you're getting your fats from a wide variety of natural sources your body will do what needs to be done with them.

Darryl Shaw
06-06-2008, 05:51 AM
a related and very interesting read on all this

Unsaturated fatty acids: Nutritionally essential, or toxic? (http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/unsaturatedfats.shtml)

Intersting read.

My view on the whole EFA/PUFA debate is that as they weren't available in any great amount on the African savanna 50,000 years ago they can't be all that essential therefore using them in large amounts is bound to have some negative health consequences. That said I do take a small amount of fish oil most days so I am kind of hedging my bets a little on this one.

Craig Loizides
06-06-2008, 10:42 AM
a related and very interesting read on all this

Unsaturated fatty acids: Nutritionally essential, or toxic? (http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/unsaturatedfats.shtml)

Great article. I've read a few similar articles recently on the dangers of PUFA. I thought the most interesting part was about how the benefits of CR come from improved mitochondrial action and can be duplicated with a low PUFA diet. Also, the link between PUFA and hibernation was interesting.

Liam Dougherty Springer
06-12-2008, 07:31 PM
Alright I am really happy with where this has taken me my quest for comfort in fat consomtion is being appeased.

I primarily eat omega three eggs, wild fish, and grass fed beef for my animal fat. Fowever I love welshire farms dry rubbed center cut bacon. I have seen some posts about cooking with bacon fat and recieved a cool link which delivered me some info on Lard.

Would it really be a good thing to use the bacon fat as a food?
If so how much is too much?

And what about turkey Lamb and Duck?

Any one got an opinion or link?

Scott Kustes
06-15-2008, 08:44 AM
How often are you eating bacon? I like the Welshire Farms brand too. Other than a boatload of sodium, I'd consider it a pretty benign cheat. It's meat and fat. I'd assume the pigs aren't pastured however, so the fat may be storing some toxins/antibiotics and such. If you could get bacon from a local farmer, I wouldn't think there's any problem with cooking in bacon fat other than that everything you cook is going to taste exceptionally awesome.

Turkey, lamb, and duck fat also seem fine to me, so long as they're properly raised. Our ancestors relished fat and I think most people here are also rather liberal with their fat intake.

Liam Dougherty Springer
06-15-2008, 09:43 AM
How often are you eating bacon? I like the Welshire Farms brand too. Other than a boatload of sodium, I'd consider it a pretty benign cheat. It's meat and fat. I'd assume the pigs aren't pastured however, so the fat may be storing some toxins/antibiotics and such. If you could get bacon from a local farmer, I wouldn't think there's any problem with cooking in bacon fat other than that everything you cook is going to taste exceptionally awesome.

Turkey, lamb, and duck fat also seem fine to me, so long as they're properly raised. Our ancestors relished fat and I think most people here are also rather liberal with their fat intake.

I eat the bacon about once a week or less up until just recently. For the past coupl weeks I have eaten about 1/3 of a pound a week. I also sometimes use fresh grease for cooking. I also have very little sodium in the rest of my diet. However I am going to look into some localy raised products

How do I know If the lamb or duck is well raised?

I have noticed when using rendered duck fat in cooking (removing the skin and fat from a duck then cooking them into grease) the duck fat will remain completely liquid and rather transparent at room temperature. Then it akes quite a while to begin to become clouded and finaly solid in the fridge and even cold never completely does become as solid as bacon grease is at room temperature. I figure this is a good sign of low saturated fat and high MUSFA.

Scott Kustes
06-17-2008, 08:35 AM
Yes, that would indicate a higher MUFA content. Whether that's a good sign is up to your individual preference for saturated fat. I prefer to cook in saturated fats.

Knowing whether they're properly raised is usually a matter of finding a local farmer and discussing their rearing with him. It typically means minimization of antibiotics and hormones only to treat truly sick animals and feeding them a diet close to their natural diet, for instance grass for sheep. I don't know the diet of ducks, but I imagine it's similar to chickens and turkeys...grass, bugs, etc, possibly supplemented with a bit of grain.

Liam Dougherty Springer
06-18-2008, 08:03 PM
Yes, that would indicate a higher MUFA content. Whether that's a good sign is up to your individual preference for saturated fat. I prefer to cook in saturated fats.

Knowing whether they're properly raised is usually a matter of finding a local farmer and discussing their rearing with him. It typically means minimization of antibiotics and hormones only to treat truly sick animals and feeding them a diet close to their natural diet, for instance grass for sheep. I don't know the diet of ducks, but I imagine it's similar to chickens and turkeys...grass, bugs, etc, possibly supplemented with a bit of grain.


Thanks I figured I would need to do some real foraging for good sources but thats good.

I cook with coocnut oil sometimes as I understand it is rather resistant to a fairly high temperature. By saturated atts did you mean animal fats. I love the cooking wth animal fats, however I have read some information on the formation of free radicals in over heated animal fats that made me think it was not a good idea.

Whats your take on the heat and animal fat issue?

Scott Kustes
06-19-2008, 08:17 AM
By saturated fats I mean saturated fats, be they coconut oil, palm oil, lard, tallow, or some other animal fat. I don't know that cooking in animal fat is any worse than coconut oil or others, but I haven't researched the topic either.

Liam Dougherty Springer
06-26-2008, 07:16 PM
:D I am much further in my journy to discovering the key to the mystery of fat sources and balance.I have redently finished both the first Zone book and Dr. Cordins Paleolithic Diet book(It only took me 8 years from the first time it was recomended). They both haelped me get a clearer idea of the basics.
The links offered from this thread have greatly expanded upon the information offered in the books.

I do have one more question. I have increased my use of EVOO and decreased my use of nuts and nut oils, and begun using beef and bison (both entirely pasture fed on a local farm) fat rendered from cuts of meet in my cooking and only Omega 3 egg yolks.

However when I do eat fatty cuts of foul or non grazed animals would takeing fish oil along with the meal allow the omega balance to remain beneficial?

For instance I just love bacon, lamb and duck (lamb and duck I eat verry rarely). I will look for local grazing farms or wild game sources but it seems to me that a high quality fish oil would supplement the Omega 3s lacking in the animal I am consuming.

On a similar note it seems that having sufficiant levels of EPA and DHA in a diet would help to check the problems regarding the negative effects of linolic acid on the processing of ALA by the liver.

Just some thoughts if anyone can expand my undrstanding please feel free.

Brian Shanks
07-15-2008, 01:30 PM
I am wondering if I should be feeling stupid right now.
I read the article MOD posted and I am wondering if my understanding of it is right.

I also started reading another of Peat's articles and it really makes me wonder about the fish oil I consume.

I even have my 4 year old taking fish oil. I read a lot of the studies on the benefits of fish oil and of all the studies I read, the only negative affect I read about was the possibility of thinning the blood.

So I guess my question is, is it mainly the Omega 3s in fish oil that are bad, or are the ones get naturally through grass fed beef, eggs, ect the same?
Are all Omega 3s created equally?

Or is this just one man's opinion?

Thanks

Bry

Mike ODonnell
07-15-2008, 02:04 PM
I am wondering if I should be feeling stupid right now.
I read the article MOD posted and I am wondering if my understanding of it is right.

I also started reading another of Peat's articles and it really makes me wonder about the fish oil I consume.

I even have my 4 year old taking fish oil. I read a lot of the studies on the benefits of fish oil and of all the studies I read, the only negative affect I read about was the possibility of thinning the blood.

So I guess my question is, is it mainly the Omega 3s in fish oil that are bad, or are the ones get naturally through grass fed beef, eggs, ect the same?
Are all Omega 3s created equally?

Or is this just one man's opinion?

Thanks

Bry

Keep the doses low and you should be fine. The body has the ability to combat free radicals...and needs some PUFAs especially for developing children. If in theory one had little Omega 6 pro-inflammatory AA intake from no grain fed animals/eggs and only ate grass fed beef/eggs....it's quite possible you would not need fish oil at all. It's more for the 3/6 ratio balance....and once the balance is there from less intake of 6s, then you should be able to lower the 3s....unlike someone still eating grain fed animals and having high intake of 6s...then they still need higher doses of 3s to balance out.

The body/brain really does not need that much EPA/DHA to see great increases....it's when inflammation issues are the main culprit that higher doses may need to be used.

Of course that's just this one man's opinion....but I have seen too many improvements in people with fish oil to discount it....although most of them were coming from a state of ill health to begin with.

Liam Dougherty Springer
07-15-2008, 03:32 PM
I am wondering if I should be feeling stupid right now.
I read the article MOD posted and I am wondering if my understanding of it is right.

I also started reading another of Peat's articles and it really makes me wonder about the fish oil I consume.

I even have my 4 year old taking fish oil. I read a lot of the studies on the benefits of fish oil and of all the studies I read, the only negative affect I read about was the possibility of thinning the blood.

So I guess my question is, is it mainly the Omega 3s in fish oil that are bad, or are the ones get naturally through grass fed beef, eggs, ect the same?
Are all Omega 3s created equally?

Or is this just one man's opinion?

Thanks

Bry

The omegas in Fish oil (DHA and ELA) are much more availiable for use and therefore you will need much less. The articles are talking about the difference between high and low Poly unsaturated fat diets. Like Mike said fish oil supplementation has had loads of accounts of verry bennifficial results.

That being said I have taken Mikes advice and just used fish oil to balance my Omega 6 intake from nuts or grain fed animal fats. The results have been equal or better than when I was taking mass quantities at each meal (definitly cheaper). Also I think it is a good idea to look into medical grade sources Dr. G will have some good ideas but there is at least one brand availiable at Whole Foods.

As far as the kid goes all I know is their bodies are typicaly in excelent shape given a non junk food diet and an active play schedual. You wont see to much obiesity untill they start sitting in desks all day. And their tollerence for nutritional supplementation is much below ours. I am sure that takeing care to present her with a variety of the highest quality (all natural and Paleo) whole food options in her regular diet, then letting her choose to eat what she wants is the best way to insure her proper nutrient intake and balance.

I am no Doc but sure do love the kidos!:D

Liam Dougherty Springer
07-15-2008, 03:39 PM
I think your going to love this Bry http://nutrition.about.com/od/nutritionforchildren/a/kidssupplemnts.htm:cool:

Brian Shanks
07-16-2008, 06:33 AM
Thanks for the advice Mike.

I also read his article on Fish Oil which really got me thinking.

Liam

I do my best on the kids nutrition, unfortunately I don't have complete control so I do give a multi-vitamin and fish oil. My wife still thinks cereal is nutritional. We have only been eating healthy for the last 2-3 years so I have a lot more years of deprogramming to catch up. Then through in the healthy school lunches and a person can't help but supplement at least a little.

We are also 90 percent sure that the wife is pregnant. So some of the things about pregnancy and the link of Omega 3s and developing food allergies was a little scary.

Just hope this child is a boy, not sure all the nutrition in the world will help me if I have my fourth girl.

Cheers

Bry

Liam Dougherty Springer
07-20-2008, 08:08 PM
I think your going to love this Bry http://nutrition.about.com/od/nutritionforchildren/a/kidssupplemnts.htm:cool:

I read the link I posted and realized the source might suck. I guess I just saw that it was saying kids vitamins and amega 3 are good for kids as suplements. That seemed to go right along with what we were talking about and it makes since to me. There were adds for taco bell and some bread company and realized I was questioning the credibility of their opinion.

Still I would feed my kids both of those things.