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Coconut oil throwing off Omega 6:3 ratio?


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#1 Bridgedurso

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 07:10 PM

I have been under the assumption that coconut milk/oil, etc. must be a great Omega balances food, as everywhere I turn I'm being told how magical it is, while simultaneously I'm being told that the key to healthy fats is to reduce Omega 6 considerably and increase Omega 3. If I'm eating some nuts and nut butters, using olive oils in raw applications, and coconut oil as my primary cooking oil, imagine my surprise when I learned that coconut oil (and milk and butter) contains ZERO omega 6's. Isn't this throwing me off?? I use ghee some, but coconut oil is so much less expensive than grass-fed ghee that that's been my primary oil. I am feeling like I should only use the coco topically now, and make kerrygold butter my primary cooking fat. I have been using only ghee b/c of strong dairy allergies. more confused than before.

Also, when I go to look up the ratio of various foods (nuts, etc.), every website seems to give different information. Is there a resource with an accurate table of these ratios for common foods?

#2 Renee Lee

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 07:47 PM

Two things:

a) I think you are either confused or typoed:

imagine my surprise when I learned that coconut oil (and milk and butter) contains ZERO omega 6's.

Did you mean omega 3s?

B) You're over-thinking this.

It's not only the ratio of n3s and n6s important, but the overall quantity. PUFAs are incredibly delicate and very quickly oxidize, so minimizing your exposure to BOTH types of PUFAs is ideal. Note that these are also essential, so you still need to eat SOME, but in this case more is not better.

Most cooking oils/fats are not 100% one type of fat. Butter is ~50% saturated and 50% unsaturated, similar ratios for lard. In contrast, coconut oil is almost 100% saturated, which means that it doesn't have ANY PUFAs in it, n3 OR n6. From a perspective of trying to limit PUFAs, coconut oil is a great choice.

In regards to the butters, in that 50% of unsaturated fats, the ratio of n3 to n6 is going to be MUCH more favorable than butter from conventionally raised cows.

Now...having said all that...if you cut out seed oils, grains, processed foods, legumes, etc from your diet, you have limited your exposure to the largest sources of PUFAs and n6s out there. You do NOT have to track this stuff. It'll all work out. Concerned about your n3 intake over the last month? swig some fish oil, eat some wild salmon. Don't worry about it! We're trying to undo unhealthy relationships with food, not replace them with new neuroses :)

#3 Bridgedurso

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 04:51 AM

Thank you for catching my typo, and for the explanation. So, the 6:3 ratio is only relevant in terms of PUFAs, then? Sat fat is a whole different consideration? Thank you!




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