The ultimate guide to healthy fat cooking & consumption

Omega 3, Omega 6, the Monounsaturated & Polyunsaturated

 

Is omega 3 better than omega 6? How much do I need?

What is the answer? You need both, but what is important is the ratio in which you eat to keep these fats in symbiosis. Omega 3’s and 6’s are promoted but how they relate is important.
Fat is making a response in the realm of diet in the media again. Abstention and restriction used to be the protocol with fats, low fat diets were promoted, now it is rapidly being promoted to eat extremely large amounts, even to the degree of practicing KETOSIS which is eating extremely high bouts of fat and low carbohydrates. Fad diets usually have a removal or restriction on 1 of the 3 main macronutrients, whether it be carbs or fats. Ketosis just happens to be on carbohydrates and follows parallel to the low fat fad diet.  
Fat was always essential in your diet whether the marketing ploys ran or ceased. The narrative just changed along with the attitude towards it. There seems to be countless waves of marketing and the “new” cures or diets that are similar to the new ketosis craze in how they work. These usually remove one of the main macronutrients (protein, carbs, fats). Ketosis seems to follow these patterns. Promoting a high fat intake and with low carbohydrate consumption.
Removing any macronutrient isn’t helpful or meeting criterion of a fabricated fixation. What is important is you are meeting your needs to be the most optimal and healthy. Therefore you need all macronutrients, including fats, and understand that not all fats are created equal.
To obtain the most from adding fats to your diet you’ll benefit more if you look past the marketing and look into the content and how the makeup of the fats correspond with your body’s physiology. Not all fats are equal in the chemical makeup of foods and oils.
Adding different and healthy fats, particularly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats (in equal amounts) will not only promote overall health, reduce inflammation, reduce risk of heart diseases, support hormonal function, but also fat is what makes food taste good.
inflammation is important to reduce

Chronic inflammatory diseases

  • Visible signs of aging like wrinkles.
  • Susceptibility to bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.
  • Acid reflux
  • Cancer
  • Skin conditions like psoriasis and acne.
  • Arthritis
  • Bronchitis
  • Chronic pain
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Osteoporosis
  • Heart disease
  • Urinary tract infections

 

Monounsaturated fats

The difference of poly (more) and mono (single) has to do with their carbon – carbon double bond.
Monounsaturated fats have a single carbon-carbon double bond. The result is that it has two fewer hydrogen atoms than a saturated fat and a bend at the double bond. This structure keeps monounsaturated fats liquid at room temperature.
Monounsaturated lowers your LD cholesterol “unhealthy” while raises HDL cholesterol “healthy” more on them here. 
LDL cholesterol is considered the “bad” form of cholesterol because it is a culprit to plaque, a dense, hard deposit that can create artery clogging.
HDL cholesterol is considered the “good” form of cholesterol because it aids the  removal of the LDL cholesterol from the arteries. HDL acts as a scavenger, carrying LDL cholesterol  from the arteries  towards the liver, where it is broken down.

 

Good sources of monounsaturated fats

  •         olive oil
  •         peanut oil
  •         canola oil
  •         avocados
  •         most nuts
  •         high-oleic safflower
  •         sunflower oils

 

 What put these unsaturated fats on the map was the Seven countries study. This had depicted a relatively lower rate of heart disease throughout countries of the Mediterranean while still having a high-fat diet. What was found to be an enormous contributor, and customary practice of  the individuals in the study, was the consumption of olive oil.
This “Mediterranean diet” is still advocated as a healthy approach. Be sure to get olive oil in darker bottles, in bright light olive oil is susceptible to oxidation (it goes rancid)
There is no exact advocating of how much of your daily intake should consist of monounsaturated fats but avoiding trans and saturated fats while supplanting the monounsaturated is a promoted practice by the Institute of Medicine.

 

Polyunsaturated fat.

Its name is categorized by its chemical makeup. In its carbon chain, it has two or more double bonds. The two most prominent types of polyunsaturated fats are:
  •         Omega-3
  •         Omega-6
The numbers are defined by the distance between the beginning of the carbon chain and the first double bond.

 

The 3 types of Omega 3s

  1. eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  2. docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and
  3. alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

 

Type of Omega 6

  1. Linoleic acid (LA)
  2. Arachidonic acid

 

There is a good chance if you cook at home you’ve handled polyunsaturated fats (PUFA). Polyunsaturated fats are labeled as essential fats. This means  they are a requirement of the body to serve many functions, but the body can’t create the essential compound in the realm of the body, therefore it has to be attained from our diet.
Fats are required to construct cell membranes, muscle movement, blood clotting, reduce inflammation among many other metabolic processes. Omega 6 also contributes to healthy brain function.  As a type of PUFA , omega-6s additionally aid hair and skin growth, regulate metabolism, help bone growth, and maintain the reproductive system.

If you are unable to get all of the omega 3 from plant sources you can get omega 3 through supplements that are vegan and vegetarian friendly. Evidence has shown supplementation through algae omega 3s has prominent benefits.

 

But you can have too much of it.

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You require an even ratio of omega 6 and omega 3. Too much omega 6 (the average American gets round 15:1, 20:1 ratio of omega 6 to omega 3),  Having too much omega 6 fats can create a harmful environment in the body. It can promote a harsh inflammatory response which leads to cellular degradation. 
Typical Americanized & Western diets are undersupplied in omega-3 fatty acids, and have disproportionate amounts of omega-6 fatty acids when paralleled with the diet human beings evolved from. 
The ideal amount is 1:1 omega 6 ratio to omega 3 
If these are off kilter it can lead to harmful inflammatory responses in our cells…
Polyunsaturated lowers both of the cholesterols, including the healthy HDL. That is why it is so detrimental to understand how necessary it is to consume adequate amounts of both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

 

Foods naturally come with Omega 3 fats: Ratios are omega 6 – omega 3

  •       Flaxseeds
  •       Walnuts
  •       Chia seeds
  •       Soy beans
  •       Flaxseed oil (1:4)
  •       Macadamia nut oil (1:1), 80% monounsaturated, (83% Omega-9)
  •       Canola oil expeller pressed (2:1), 62% monounsaturated, 32% polyunsaturated)

Or these foods which are commonly fortified with omega-3 fats with exceptions to vegans who do not eat dairy:

  1.       Eggs
  2.       Juice
  3.       Milk
  4.       Yogurt

 

Oils and how to choose the right ones for balancing your Omega 3 and Omega 6

 

We will access these oils as you would assess any others to get adequate and level amounts
  •         Grapeseed oil
  •         Avocado oil
  •         Walnut oil

 

Grapeseed oil

This oil is extremely high in polyunsaturated fats and has a relatively high  amount of vitamin E.  Cooking with this is marketed as an excellent replacement for vegetable oils or olive oils when sautéing or stir-frying, due to its durability to higher heat. This high smoking point rhetoric doesn’t necessarily mean you should use it though. Especially when you assess its chemical composition.
It is a whopping 676: 1 ratio of omega 6 to omega 3.
Even if it is used a proponent and miracle of vitamin E it is just as easy to obtain vitamin E from other sources such as:
  •         Dark green leafy vegetables like kale
  •         Cereal grains
  •         Sweet potatoes
  •         Avocado
  •         Asparagus
  •         Yams
  •         Sunflower Seeds
  •         Almonds
  •         Spinach
  •         Swiss Chard
  •         Peanuts
  •         Turnip Greens
  •         Asparagus
  •         Beet Greens
  •         Mustard Greens
It does have topical uses for hair and skin. But shouldn’t be promoted as a healthy alternative oil to use.

 

Attributes of Grapeseed oil

Smoking point 420°F
676:1, (12% saturated, 17% monounsaturated)
Relative amount of vitamin E

 

Walnut Oil

The detail that makes a dish. It is triumphant when it comes to Omega 3s compared to grapeseed oil, as well as in flavor, its smooth nutty flavor speaks volumes to anything you pair with it. This includes placing atop salads for dressings., contains 9 grams of polyunsaturated fat per serving some of which is alpha-linolenic acid which is an anti-inflammatory omega 3

 

Attributes of walnut oil

1:5 Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio
Smoking point 320°F

 

 

Avocado oil

This oil can stand alone or be infused with citrus juice for a lively dressing. This specialty oil should be refrigerated until using then it should be brought to room temperature before use to sustain its deep fullness of flavor. Avocado oil contains 10 grams per serving of monounsaturated fats and has a high cooking point

 

Attributes of Avocado oil

12:1 Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio 70% monounsaturated, (68% Omega-9 fatty acids)
High in vitamin E.
Smoking point 520 °F

 

Olive oil

 

olive-oil-356102_960_720

The one that receives our highest praise! It raises HDL and lowers LDL. It is 75% monounsaturated fat and 15% saturated fat. It has a high smoking point. It has relative amounts of vitamin E and K. Additionally it is relatively low in Omega-6.
What is important is that the consumption of fat is 1:1 of omega 3 and omega 6 as polyunsaturated fats and understanding the majority of people don’t know  the onslaught of being out of balance of this ratio.
Additionally important is the consumption of monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats can have quite an impact on inflammation, cholesterol, and overall health when used and understood correctly. While polyunsaturated fats do lower the HDL(good) cholesterol that shouldn’t give the omega’s slight, due to them being essential fats our bodies incapability of being produced.  As well as the omegas enormous capabilities of limiting inflammation. Monounsaturated fat consumption will promote high HDL and lower the LDL which makes the consumption of both create a synergistic effect with the omega’s,  to lower harmful cholesterol as well as reduce inflammation. Again doing your best to balance these is key! 

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