One of my YouTube subscribers recently asked "I keep seeing criticism of 811 on youtube from the paleo eaters who say you can't get EPA, DHA...on this diet"
To shed some light, here is my answer with a few added extras for those of you who like to look into the issue at a deeper level
EPA and DHA are made in animals this is true, but this also includes human animals - we make DHA and EPA in our bodies provided the correct ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fats is ingested.
Most diets (meat, raw, vegan, junk, macro etc etc) have massive amounts of omega 6 and hardly any omega 3 - this means that the ratio is not right for EPA/DHA conversion.
Nutritional experts argue over the ideal ratio but anthing from 1:1 to 1:5 of omega 3 to omega 6 should be fine (you can keep an eye on this using Cronometer. I currently get about 3-4g of each. I upped my omega 3s to match my omega 6 intake by adding 3 tsp of freshly ground flaxseed to one of my daily smoothies. (SAD diets tend to have a ratio of 1:14 or even 1:20!!)
Omega 3:6 ratios in fruits and vegetables and seeds:
Strawberries have a ratio of 1:1
Bananas have a ratio of 1.1
Blueberries are 1:1
Oranges are 1:3
Mangoes are 3:1
Flaxseeds are 5:1
Some plant foods have bad ratios, sunflower seeds are 1:60!! Cashew nuts have no omega 3 at all, only omega 6. This would explain why raw vegans following the 'gourmet' style of raw food have problems and start supplementing with EPA/DHA because their Omega 3:6 ratio is terrible and wont allow for efficient conversion to EPA and DHA
It is not enough to simply increase the intake of Omega 3, you must also decrease omega 6. The consensus in the nutritional field is to make sure omega 6 intake does not go above 2% of daily calorie intake.
Plant sources of direct EPA
Also there are plant sources of EPA - there is a salad plant called Purslane. According to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, one serving of purslane contains 300 to 400 milligrams of alpha-linolenic acid--four times as much as raw spinach and twice the amount in kale. More notably, it's a source of EPA, the long-chain omega-3 fatty acid commonly known as fish oil.
Here is an informative post from the Linus Pauling institute (Linus Pauling recived nobel prize for his nutritional research) http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/othernuts/omega3fa/#metabolism
"There are two major types of omega-3 fatty acids in our diets: One type is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is found in some vegetable oils, such as soybean, rapeseed (canola), and flaxseed, and in walnuts. ALA is also found in some green vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, and salad greens. The other type, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), is found in fatty fish. The body partially converts ALA to EPA and DHA.
We do not know whether vegetable or fish omega-3 fatty acids are equally beneficial, although both seem to be beneficial. Unfortunately, most Americans do not get enough of either type. For good health, you should aim to get at least one rich source of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet every day. This could be through a serving of fatty fish (such as salmon), a tablespoon of canola or soybean oil in salad dressing or in cooking, or a handful of walnuts or ground flaxseed mixed into your morning oatmeal."
Other research shows us that non-fish eaters (which includes veggies and vegans) actually have a more efficient conversion of Omega 3 (ALA) to EPA and DHA.
Welch AA, Bingham SA, Khaw KT. Estimated conversion of alpha-linolenic acid to long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids is greater than expected in non fish-eating vegetarians and non fish-eating meat-eaters than in fish-eaters. J Hum Nutr Diet
I hope this adds some 'food for thought'.
Dude, do you mean % or do you mean grams? all the official literature I have seen states
0.5 grams of omega 3 and 2 grams of omega 6 NOT 0.5% and 2% can you please provide the WHO ref as I cannot find this exact info on their website - thanks.
Oh and how do you link to people's names in text like that? :-D
actually do not worry, just found it :-)
ok - so WHO have sent the minimums at 0.5% E (percentage of energy) and 2%E (percentage of energy) for PUFAs n-3:n-6 respectively.
This would translate, using a 2000kcal diet, as (in terms of energy intake):
n-3 would be 10kcal
n-6 would be 40kcal
Roughly speaking this would translate as 1g of omega 3 and 4g of omega 6 (a 1:4 ratio) - there are 9 kcal to 1 gram of fat.
As you can see very little of these fats is needed, I get 3g of omega 3 and 4-5g of omega 6 so I am above the WHO's recommendations yet my total fat intake is very low :-)
I hope this clarifies
You were clear to begin with... I was just stating that you claimed it was "The consensus in the nutritional field is to make sure omega 6 intake does not go above 2% of daily calorie intake." However, last I checked it seemed the nutrition field as reviewed by the WHO recommended 6-11% and that 2.5% was only a minimum [minimum 2% omega-6; not maximum as you stated] before potential adverse health affects could develop. So, I was/am intrigued to read what you have read...
Thank you for this information. Could you share a link to the WHO source and page?
I get around 0.9 grams of omega3 and 1.2 grams of omaga6 fatty acids a day (on a 3500kcal diet).
Since my knee joints hurt so much (I overtrained but it won't go away) I was questioning if my low-fat intake could cause the recovery to slow down or worsen it.
There are Dutch websites pointing to "official documentation" with very high recommendations of omega3 that can almost only be obtained by eating fish (as is recommended in the Netherlands at leased once a week).
I wanted to see those numbers for myself, because some friends where referring to them.
The report is called " fats and fatty acids in human nutrition"downloadable from the WHO website. This particular document puts the n-3 and n-6 requirements at 0.5% of total kcals and 2.5% of total cals respecively. "The minimum intake values for essential fatty acids to prevent deficiency symptoms
are estimated at a convincing level to be 2.5%E LA plus 0.5%E ALA."
This would mean for the 2000kcal diet they use as a model in these things that you need 10kcal of n-3 which equals about 1g and 50kcal of n-6 which equals approx 5g
What on earth are you eating cos I easily get over 1g of n-3 and over 3g of n-3 even on days where I only ate 2000kcal - I find it hard to believe that you can eat 1,500kcal more but have way less omega fatty acids -are you just eating lemons and dates??
Thanks I found some documents! I am not that concerned but I like to play with the numbers :)
First the recommended calories (811rv) calculation based on a minimum of 10gram of carbohydrates per kilo bodyweight 10gram * 84kilogram = 840 carbohydrates
840 carbohydrates * 4 = 3360 kcal
(3360 * 100) / 80 = 4200 kcal a day
Then some ALA and LA calculations based on the 4200kcal.
http://www.who.int/entity/nutrition/topics/FFA_summary_rec_conclusi... page 3 (search: fats and fatty acids in human nutrition filetype:pdf)
n-3 PUFA AMDR (n-3§): 0.5 – 2%E
n-6 PUFA AMDR (LA): 2.5 – 9%E
(there is more in detail in the document)
On a 4200kcal diet this is: (using 9kcal per gram fat)
21kcal n-3 = 2,33 gram (currently I get 1.8gram fruits)
42kcal n-6 = 4.7 gram (currently I get 2.4gram fruits)
So add a minuscule amount of 4 gram s flaxseed and one Brazil nut and you obtain the WHO recommendations. (all not to be taken all to seriously, but they are a good guideline)
great, so you can up your omega 3 fats nicely then :-)
If you still struggle I would suggest adding 3 tsp of freshly ground flaxseeds to your food - it gives you a nice 1.7g of n-3 :-)
I just copied your name from the "Reply by Star Khechara." It gets pasted in the text field as a link...
i can't get more than 1g of omega3 at 2.000calories on this diet.
right now it's zero overt-fats and 90%raw and 200g of greens on average.
how do i increase my omega 3 without flax?