In early April I started measuring my diet fairly carefully (using CRON-O-Meter). It is a somewhat tedious project, but it has has shown me that I’m getting too much Omega-6.
Most of the discussion I’d previously noticed implied that I should improve my Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio by consuming more Omega-3.
But after finding Dave Asprey’s website and hearing him at the Personalized Life Extension Conference, his framing of the issue as Omega-6 poisoning led me to look more carefully at my Omega-6 consumption, and is one of the reasons I tried CRON-O-Meter.
There are conflicting opinions about what ratio people ought to aim for, but those who advocate a ratio close to 1:1 seem to have a good theory (resemblance to hunter-gatherer diets), while I suspect those who advocate much higher Omega-6 levels either assume it’s hopeless to convince many people to achieve a ratio anywhere near 1:1 or have motives unrelated to Omega-fats for pushing oils with a high Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio.
So my guess is that I should aim for a ratio less than 2:1, and be concerned if my ratio exceeds 3:1.
Even with fairly drastic changes to my diet (virtually eliminating canola oil and olive oil, and cutting back on my peanut addiction by an order of magnitude), I still find that it takes careful thought to keep my daily Omega-6 consumption below 10 grams.
I could in principle take a dozen or more fish oil pills to offset the Omega-6, but the safety of taking over 6 grams of Omega-3 per day seems unknown.
So I am working on switching to foods that have fat that’s very low in Omega-6, mainly coconut oil and butter from grass-fed cows (Kerrygold is the widely available brand).
That mostly doesn’t require eating food that’s less tasty (Kerrygold butter tastes better than most other fats), but it reduces the variety of foods I can eat. It rules out what I used to consider ordinary amounts of most nuts, and many processed foods (Trader Joes’ eggplant and red pepper spreads looked like a convenient way to get veggies until I quantified the effect of the sunflower oil that is the fourth ingredient in each).
I’ll try to post some of my best recipes in a few months.