Ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 in the Carnivore Diet | all carnivores (2023)

The omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of foods on the carnivore diet can vary significantly depending on the type of food and how it's made, but getting the right omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is critical to your health.

In this in-depth article, we cover the following:

  • What are omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids
  • The large discrepancy in the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in the diet of our ancestors and in the modern diet,
  • The ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 from animal foods and
  • How to optimize your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio on the carnivore diet.

What are omega-6 fatty acids?

Omega-6 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid that are considered essential for the human body. They cannot be synthesized by our organism and must be ingested through food.

The term "omega-6" refers to the position of the first double bond in the chemical structure of the fatty acid, which is six carbons from the end of the molecule. [1]

Omega-6 fatty acids play several important roles in the body, including: [2,3,4]

  1. Act as structural components of cell membranes
  2. Supporting brain function and development
  3. regulation of metabolism
  4. maintaining bone health
  5. Promote healthy skin and hair
  6. Adaptation of the reproductive system
  7. Modulation of inflammation and cellular immunity.

Examples of omega-6 fatty acids include linoleic acid and arachidonic acid, which can be found in a variety of foods, such as vegetable oils (such as safflower, soybean, sunflower, corn, sesame oil), nuts and seeds (such as walnuts, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds) and meats. [5]

While omega-6 fatty acids are important to our health, excessive intake of these fatty acids relative to omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to chronic inflammatory diseases such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cardiovascular disease, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease. rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer's disease. [6,7]

Therefore, it is important to maintain a good ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in our diet, which we will discuss in more detail later. [8]

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What are omega-3 fatty acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid that are important for the healthy functioning of the human body, but the body cannot produce them on its own and must obtain them from food. [9]

There are several types of omega-3 fatty acids, but most scientific research focuses on three types: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). [10]

ALA comes primarily from plant-based foods (e.g., flaxseed, walnuts, hempseed, flaxseed, canola, and chia seeds), while EPA and DHA come primarily from animal sources (e.g., fish, nuts, sea, meat, fat, offal, and eggs ) come.

Omega-3 fatty acids play several important roles in the body, including: [11,12,13,14,15]

  1. Act as structural components of cell membranes throughout the human body
  2. Supporting brain function and development
  3. Regulation of inflammation and blood clotting
  4. Support eye, heart, joint and mental health
  5. Supporting reproductive health, fetal development and healthy aging
  6. Reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as arthritis, cancer and depression.

Inadequate intake of EPA and DHA (marine omega-3 fatty acids) has been linked to a range of health problems, including ADHD, autism, bipolar disorder, depression and suicide risk. [16]

The importance of having the right ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in our diet

While both are essential, omega-6 fatty acids are known to promote inflammation, while omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects. Therefore, getting the right ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in your diet is critical to achieving optimal health. [17,18,19]

It is believed that our ancestors ate a diet with an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of about 1:1. This is not surprising since their diet consisted mainly of meat from large herbivores. [20,21,22]

Herbivores (e.g., cattle, deer, and sheep) typically have specialized digestive systems with multiple gastric chambers that allow them to convert polyunsaturated fats into saturated fats. As a result, they are low in polyunsaturated fats as wellmore favorable ratios of omega-6 to omega-3. [23]

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However, the modern Western diet generally has a much higher omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, ranging from 10:1 to 20:1. This excess intake of omega-6 fatty acids has been linked to a variety of health problems, including inflammation, heart disease, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer's and cancer. [24,25,26,27]

If you are currently on the carnivore diet and cut out all plant foods, including seed oils, your omega-6 fatty acid consumption would have reduced dramatically and your overall omega-6 to omega-3 ratio would have improved accordingly.

However, some animal foods have a more favorable omega-6 to omega-3 ratio than others and in order to optimize our fatty acid intake we need to choose the right food groups, which we will look at in the following section.

The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in the diet of carnivores

The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in animal foods can vary significantly. However, those with the best proportions appear to be animal brains, seafood, cheese and ruminant fats, in addition to being the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

As can be seen from the table below, animal brains (beef, lamb and pork) are particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This is to be expected given the importance of omega-3 fatty acids in brain function and development. [28]

Seafood such as tuna, herring, salmon and mackerel have a very low omega-6 to omega-3 ratio and are particularly high in omega-3 fatty acids. Some seafood has an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio close to zero due to its extremely low omega-6 content.

Ruminant fats also have a low omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. For example, the proportions of beef fat and lamb fat are 1.4 and 2.1, respectively.

However, it is important to note that these proportions can vary significantly from sample to sample, depending on how they are collected. Grass-fed beef, for example, usuallyhave more omega-3 fatty acids and a lower omega-6 to omega-3 ratiothan grain-fed beef.

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WhileCheese productsalso have a low omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, but their omega-3 fatty acid content is not as high as that of animal brains and seafood.

pork meateAveare on the other end of the spectrum and have extremely high omega-6 to omega-3 ratios (ranging from 10 to 24).

However, similar to beef,WeideschweineAveThey also have a more favorable omega-6 to omega-3 ratio compared to their traditional counterparts. [29,30]

Nutrients per 100gOmega 6: Omega 3Omega-3 (mg)Omega-6 (mg)
Ochsengehirn 0,01.22541
lamb brain0,062030
Hering 0,11.729130
wild salmon0,12.018172
pig brain0,179090
Atlantic Salmon 0,42.506982
lamb kidney1.1190210
feta cheese 1.2265326
Camembert cheese1.6274450
Roast beef2.0221452
New York stripes2.0185379
lamb fat 2.17981.652
Bife Ribeye2.1240510
lean lamb2.272155
ground lamb3.24201.360
strip steak3.82180
Chuck Steak3.891347
thin chicken4.340170
pork liver 4.480350
Lamb's liver4.670320
thin chicken7.5100750
Ground beef (90% lean)7.835273
Ground beef (85% lean)8.442354
Butter 8.73152.728
pig heart9.680770
pork belly10.54805.029
Ground Chicken 13.8961.327
Chicken breast14.51201.740
chicken wings 14.82002.950
chicken thighs15,02063.091
pig kidney17,010170
chicken fat19.51.00019.503
pork fat 21.84279.313
lean pork23,5541.271

Optimizing your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio

Based on the above data, if you're looking to optimize the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in your diet, stick with fats from ruminants, animal brains (if you eat organ meat), and wild seafood.

If you make ruminant meat, fat and offal the core of your diet, and add occasional servings of quality seafood, then it shouldn't be difficult to keep the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in your diet below 2:1.

If you can't get quality seafood, I think it's better to just stick with ruminant meat, fat, and organs, since farmed fish are usually raised in poor conditions, fed an unnatural diet, and injected with all sorts of chemicals. . [31,32,33]

While ruminant fat (other than their brains) doesn't contain a lot of omega-3s, unless you're eating a lot of pro-inflammatory omega-6s, you don't need a lot of anti-inflammation. - inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.

If you've never tried animal brains and don't know how to cook them, check out oursdelicious recipes. Not only are they a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, but they're also packed with other nutrients.

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RegardingCheeseAlthough it is a great source of calcium and has a low omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, some people may be sensitive to dairy and not make it a part of their regular diet.

As mentioned above,conventionally raised porkeAvegenerally have a very high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio due to their PUFA-rich diet, but if you can get grass-fed pork and poultry it's perfectly acceptable to include them in your diet on a regular basis as they're more cheap fatty acids.

Other posts you may be interested in:

The best omega-3 sources in the carnivore diet

How Much Organ Meat Should You Eat on the Carnivore Diet?

Do you need supplements for the carnivore diet?

What do hardcore carnivores eat in a day?

Disclaimer:The information in this post is for reference purposes only and is not intended to constitute or replace professional medical advice. Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle. Please take a look at oursDisclaimerfor more details.

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