Wednesday 29 October 2014

Oils, Fatty acids, Fat sources

Our body requires two fatty acids: Omega 3 alpha-linolenic acid and Omega 6 linoleic acid. These are essential fatty acids that we have to consume as our bodies don’t have the enzymes to produce them. These fatty acids are also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and you'll be able to find endless sources citing their role in brain function, bone health, skin and hair growth, metabolism and general health.

Omega 3 ALA is converted to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Omega 6 is converted to gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and then to arachidonic acid (AA). Several studies have shown that a lower ratio of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids is more desirable in reducing the risk of many chronic diseases and a ratio of 4:1 showing improvements. [1]

The diagram below shows the components of fatty acids

Increasing my omega 3 to omega 6 ratios

I'm removing canola oil as I cannot find a bottle that does not contain any trans fat. I currently take fish oil for EPA and DHA. Algae is another alternative but it comes with a higher cost.
I've also added coconut oil for its medium-chain triglycerides, which are rapidly digested and acts more like a carbohydrate than a fat. I'm mainly trying it out to increase energy levels [2]. Its the only saturated fat that I'm happy to consume at larger dosages.

Common sources of GLA are evening primrose oil and borage oil. Borage oil contains 20% GLA, evening primrose oil with 9% GLA and black current oil with 15-20% GLA [3]. While I've been unable to find scientific sources, I've read positive personal stories about the use of these oils for controlling hormonal acne [4][5][6].

Heres a list of lipid nutrition:

Soylent forum posts related to oils and fat sources


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