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Crohn's Disease Forum » Diet, Fitness, and Supplements » Importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids


12-11-2006, 01:30 PM   #1
mikeyarmo
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importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...,f1000m,isrctn

This was just a page I found showing the negative aspects of eating diet that has a high omega-6 to omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid ratio. It is thought that humans developed on a diet where the ratio was about 1, and a common western diet is now about 15-16 (meaning 15 units of omega-6 fat for each unit of omega-3 fat). This is thought to be the source of a lot of problems including cardiovascular disease and cancer in addition to other problems.

Modern agriculture has altered many of the characteristics that we had thought we knew about the foods we eat. Western practises of feeding grain to animals and empahsizing speed and size has caused the meat we eat to be much worse than we might have expected.

from "Slanker's Grass-Fed Meats " comparison of eggs from farms in Greece and North American supermarkets:
The Greek egg had a Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio of 1.3 to one whereas the “supermarket egg” had a ratio of 19.4 to one.
Chickens now have more fat than in the past, and also contain less Omega-3. In the past they contained about 120grams per chicken of Omega-3 fat and now they contain 20grams (based on the information provided in Supermarket Secrets).

What does this mean for you?

Omega-6 fats can cause inflammation and Omega-3 fats can reduce inflammation. It is therefore likely better to eat a diet low in Omega-6 fats and higher in Omega-3 fats. Just because something is natural or a vegetable/fruit does not mean it contains the right type of fat. For example Sunflower seed oil is high in Omega-6.

As people who suffer from a disease that causes inflammation, try to avoid excessive intake of Omega-6 fat. This means reducing your intake of meat and chicken, and eating fish more often. You can also take a fish oil or flax seed oil/pill to increase your intake of omega-3.


Fat is essential in a diet, so do not avoid it totally. Try to be aware of what type of fat is in the foods you buy (it may say on the label). Tans fats are definately not essential though, and should really be avoided as much as possible. Saturated fats should also not be taken too excessively.

The role of diet in IBD is not agreed to by all, but I do not see any problem in trying to make some changes in what you consume. Even if it does not directly affect the disease, it should help your overall health and can allow you to benefit later in life.
12-12-2006, 03:44 AM   #2
Mazen
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I totally agree with this approach and I have been trying to implement it for more than a year with some success. The aim is to have a ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 4:1, and in case of IBD it's better to be 2:1 or 1:1. Also you should aim to have about 80% of your fat intake monounsaturated i.e. Olive oil, Avocados and decrease as much as possible saturated fats. Also eliminate all Hydrogenated oils, basically everything processed or fried.

I reccomend reading the following 2 books:

- The New Eating Right for a Bad Gut by James Scala "this is specific to IBD with very excellent tips"

- The Omega Diet "I forgot the author name but it has some great info on how to distribute your fats and eating a healthy diet; it also has a chapter on auto immune diseases including crohn's"
02-03-2007, 01:11 PM   #3
fgillette1986
 
My current omega6 to omega3 ratio is about 1:3

After studying a lot about flammatory and inflammatory foods, I decided since my intestines are inflamed I should incorporate more omega3s in my diet over omega6s.
02-03-2007, 01:54 PM   #4
DanSJVDavis
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I had learned a while back that Omega 6 isn't necessarily good for someone with Crohn's. I had grown some Borage and learned later that it's one of the big sources for Omega 6, so I now tend to avoid any herbal supplement that's got Borage listed in its ingredients.
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03-05-2007, 10:42 AM   #5
carolinajak
 
so how much omega 6 is in an egg? i like eating hardboiled eggwhites alot and have been purposely getting ones with higher omega 3 in them. is this enough? or is it like cholesterol in eggs and its mainly in the yolk?

thanks for the post.
03-05-2007, 12:45 PM   #6
Skinsfan1229
 
Hard boiled eggs is a good source of omega-3. A lot of supplements have omega 3 in it besides the actual supplement they are advertising also, just like some are with vitamin D and C.

By the way I'm glad that people dont like to see that crap on this website, thanks to all that brought it to mine, and others attention, Its highly appreciated by the sight, and me.
03-06-2007, 05:19 AM   #7
Mazen
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Omega 3 fortified eggs should have a ratio of 1:1 Omega3:Omega6. Normal eggs have as much as 1:16 !!!!! But I don't know where the Omega 3 is concentrated, in the white or yolk... I eat the whole egg, most of the time boiled, but sometimes I indulge and fry it a little with olive oil or very little butter.
03-06-2007, 09:31 AM   #8
carolinajak
 
I dug a little and everything I found states the egg whites contain no fat, that it's all in the yolk. This would of course include Omega's 3 and 6.
03-07-2007, 04:46 PM   #9
robert.k
 
carolinajak said:
so how much omega 6 is in an egg? i like eating hardboiled eggwhites alot and have been purposely getting ones with higher omega 3 in them. is this enough? or is it like cholesterol in eggs and its mainly in the yolk?

thanks for the post.
Generally speaking, large eggs have about 5 grams of fat each. If you're buying the omega-3 enriched variety (I think they feed the chickens flax seeds or omega-3 enriched animal feed), less than 1 gram of that fat is omega-6, and just under half a gram of the fat is omega-3. So it's about a 2:1 ratio of omega-6mega-3 within omega-3 enriched eggs.

Hope that helps.
03-07-2007, 04:47 PM   #10
robert.k
 
carolinajak said:
I dug a little and everything I found states the egg whites contain no fat, that it's all in the yolk. This would of course include Omega's 3 and 6.
Unless you're on a low-fat diet, I'd recommend eating the whole egg. Most of the nutrition of the eggs is contained within the yolk (the omega-3 fats, the vitamins and the minerals, also about 50% of the egg's protein is contained within the yolk).
03-07-2007, 08:03 PM   #11
carolinajak
 
egg whites are almost a snack for me, and i am on a low fat diet. this was my lifestyle before crohns, didnt eat the yolks then either. i was working my way towards 22 grams of fat or less per day, the 10% solution for those of you that are in the know.
03-07-2007, 08:12 PM   #12
robert.k
 
that is a very low-fat diet! but hey, if it works for you and your goals stick with it. I've done all sorts of eating styles, sometimes i've gone close to 50% of my calories from fat, sucking down about 200 grams in a day, probably. I've always loved high-fat foods, like omelettes with lots of eggs and cheese and sausage/bacon, fatty lamb/steak, butter on toast, creamy sauces based on mayonnaise/vegetable oils....

I think now I need to reel it in a bit, keep fat to around 20-30% of calories so as not to loosen my stools too much.
03-07-2007, 09:27 PM   #13
carolinajak
 
yeah i have yet to reach the 10% mark consistently, but i am pretty close these days, between 12-15% usually. i don't follow it as closely as i was, but my diet restricts most fat and it kind of happens by default.

sounds like your high fat diet was pretty out there. its got to be tough to change from that.
03-07-2007, 10:04 PM   #14
robert.k
 
carolinajak said:
yeah i have yet to reach the 10% mark consistently, but i am pretty close these days, between 12-15% usually. i don't follow it as closely as i was, but my diet restricts most fat and it kind of happens by default.

sounds like your high fat diet was pretty out there. its got to be tough to change from that.
You know, I'm adaptable. I've eaten all kinds of ways. I'm just hoping I can find a good dietary plan that will yield me improvement with my Crohn's symptoms. There are many ways to eat healthfully, I just hope I can find a way of eating that is conducive to helping me stay in remission.

Do you feel like you've found a dietary approach that's ideal for you in terms of relieving Crohn's symptoms? Also, how long have you been dealing with Crohn's?
03-09-2007, 05:49 AM   #15
Mazen
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I've read somewhere that an optimal anti-inflammatory diet should have 30% fat, 30% protein and 40% carbs

As for a dietary plan I found that by reducing as much as possible red meat and raw vegetables, peeling fruits, avoiding nuts and seeds, I'm feeling much better. I also take Omega 3 supplements.

Last edited by Mazen; 03-09-2007 at 05:52 AM.
03-09-2007, 09:29 AM   #16
robert.k
 
Mazen said:
I've read somewhere that an optimal anti-inflammatory diet should have 30% fat, 30% protein and 40% carbs

As for a dietary plan I found that by reducing as much as possible red meat and raw vegetables, peeling fruits, avoiding nuts and seeds, I'm feeling much better. I also take Omega 3 supplements.

I'm skeptical. I don't think there is an established anti-inflammatory diet. I'm sure one or two exist, but I just don't think they've been medically documented, yet.

I'm gonna try something along the lines of 33/33/33 next week, see if it makes me feel any better.
03-15-2007, 07:27 AM   #17
Mazen
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Here is the link where I got this from; the diet reccommendations look also very suitable for Crohn's (steamed vegetables, no red meat etc....)

http://www.naturalchoicesforyou.com/...05/page/631430
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