Lobbyists for food manufacturers brainwashed our society for a long time regarding fats. The most ridiculous statements they used are “fat is not good for you”, “saturated fat is not good for you” and “sugar is not good for you”. So why do you think zero-fat zero-sugar yogurt tastes so good? Because they turned sugars into unnatural chemical compounds, which technically cannot be classified as “sugars” but still taste sweet, and used some special chemical additives to replace for loss of fats (to mimic fats) and you get your unnatural chemical spam called zero calorie yogurt. You will not die from it, but years of consumption will make its spam foot print on your body.
The truth of life is we must have fat in our diet, including saturated fat, to have a healthy body. We finally start getting some useful independent research information about fats. ISSFAL issued several official statements, one of them, Statement # 5, is entitled: α–Linolenic Acid Supplementation and Conversion to n-3 Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Humans (Reference: http://www.issfal.org/statements/pufa-recommendations/statement-5 )
We have published earlier information on Omega-3 oils and their dietary importance and now would like to give you some useful information on how to optimize Omega-3 intake. Below are article’s key conclusions. The conclusions may seem technical at first glance, but we wanted to keep them in its original form. Below each conclusion you will find our interpretation entitled What does it mean for you?
Article Summary and our comments:
1. ALA (18:3n-3) conversion to EPA (20:5n-3), DPA (22:5n-3) and DHA (22:6n-3) in tracer studies has been observed in nearly all humans studied from birth through late middle age and in both males and females.
What does it mean for you? Consumption of a variety of seeds (i.e. vegetable sources) will supply certain amount of short-chain Omega-3 fats, like ALA, which in turn may be converted to EPA, DPA and DHA. Note, only very small percentage of ALA gets converted to longer chain Omega-3 fatty acids.
2. The majority of evidence from isotopic tracer studies shows that the conversion of ALA to DHA is on the order of 1% in infants, and considerably lower in adults. This is consistent with measurements of whole body ALA oxidation which is the predominant fate of ALA in both rodents and humans. These “conversion rates” must be viewed as markers of flux through this metabolic pathway but must not be assumed to represent a net change in mass.
What does it mean for you? Conversion of ALA (short chain Omega-3) to to EPA, DPA and DHA (longer chain Omega-3s) is very low, and will not supply needed amount of longer chain Omega-3s.
3. Very few studies in adults show that blood stream or breast milk DHA concentra-tions increase following several weeks of increased dietary ALA supply, whereas most studies do not. ALA appears to contribute little to circulating DHA when added to a diet that already contains some ALA and high in linoleic acid (LA).
What does it mean for you? Canola oil and oils made from sunflower, sesame, safflower, corn, soybean, walnut, cottonseed and grape seeds are all great sources of essential linoleic acid (LA) (n-6 family of fats), but they decrease ALA (n-3 family of fats) conversion to EPA and DHA.
4. Supplementation of the diet with high levels of ALA leads to small but significant increases in EPA and DPAn-3 although supplementation with preformed EPA is approximately 15-fold more efficacious in this regard.
What does it mean for you? While eating sources of ALA will result in some conversion to EPA and DHA, it is not enough to achieve desired daily levels of EPA and DHA.
5. Dietary DHA increases blood and tissue DHA beyond that achievable with consumption of usual intakes of any precursor omega-3 PUFA, against a background of western diets providing ample n-6 fatty acids.
What does it mean for you? Consumption of fish or vegetarian sea products rich in DHA is the best way to achieve desired level of DHA.
6. For a given dietary concentration of ALA, the conversion of ALA to Longer Chain PUFA is decreased by high dietary ratios of Linoleic Acid (n-6 fatty acid) / ALA (n-3 fatty acid). Moreover, n-6 fatty acid intake influences tissue concentrations of the n-3 Longer Chain PUFA. Present evidence indicates that n-3 Longer Chain PUFA status can be improved by increasing their intake or by decreasing LA intake, and a combination of the two is likely to be most effective.
What does it mean for you? Ideal diet should have an adequate consumption of fish or vegetarian sea products rich in EPA (fish) and DHA (fish, vegetarian sea products), along with sources of ALA (flax seeds) and LA (olive oil, canola oil, etc.) The higher the intake of unsaturated oils (olive oil, canola oil, etc) the higher intake of EPA and DHA oils should be. Ideally, daily ratio of (n-6 fatty acids, e.g. Linoleic Acid) to (n-3 fatty acids, e.g. ALA, EPA, DHA) should be less than 7. Because of modern frenzy to eliminate saturated fats from our diet and replace them with polyunsaturated fats (like canola oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, etc. ) we now have ratio (n-6 fats) / (n-3 fats) more than 20 in western diet. The long term effect of high ratio of (n-6 fats)/(n-3 fats) results in inflamation and generally considered an unbalanced diet. There is nothing wrong with consumption of olive oil, canola oil, safflower oil, etc. (n-6 and n-9 families of fats), but keep in mind to properly increase intake of fish or vegetarian sea products rich in EPA and DHA (n-3 family of fats). If eating grilled salmon with skin three times a week does not sound like fun to you, then consider getting fish oil supplements in its natural form (triglyceride form).