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Ratio of Fatty Acids in Different Foods
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The biological effects of the ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acids are mediated by their mutual interactions, but it is unclear whether the dietary ratio of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids is important for human health.

ω-6 fatty acids omega-6 fatty acids omega-3 fatty acids
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    1. Ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 Fats in the Diets of Hunter-Gatherers

    It has been claimed that among hunter-gatherer populations, omega-3 fats and omega-6 fats are typically consumed in roughly a 1:1 ratio.[1] At one extreme of the spectrum of hunter-gatherer diets, the Greenland Inuit, prior to the late Twentieth Century, consumed a diet in which omega-6s and omega-3s were consumed in a 1:2 ratio, thanks to a diet rich in cold-water fish (which are a rich source of omega-3s) and completely devoid of omega-6-rich seed oils.[2]

    2. Optimal Ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 Fats

    To date, "no one knows what the optimal ratio in the diet is for these two families of fats."[3] Susan Allport writes that the current ratio in Japan is associated with a very low incidence of heart and other diseases. A dietary ratio of 4:1 produces almost a 1:1 ratio of highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs) in cell membranes."[3]

    Andrew Stoll, who advocates the consumption of the two fats in a 1:1 ratio, states, "Once in the body, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids follow parallel pathways, continually competing with each other for chemical conversion to various structures and molecules inside and outside the cells. Given this mechanism, it makes sense that the two fats might be required in approximately equal amounts."[4]

    Both Stoll and Allport assert that present-day diets in the developed world have departed dramatically from this ratio. It has been estimated that in developed countries, the ratio of Omega-6s to Omega-3s is closer to 15:1[5] Another estimate is that "[t]he diet consumed by the typical American tends to contain 14 - 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids."[6]

    3. Fish

    Food Citation Serving Size Omega-6 fatty acids (g) Omega-3 fatty acids (g) Omega-6 : Omega-3 ratio
    Salmon, wild, raw [7] 4 oz (113g) 0.2 2.3 1 : 12
    Sardines, canned in oil, drained [8] 4 oz 4.0 1.8 2.2 : 1
    Tuna, canned in water, drained [8] 4 oz 0.01 0.3 1 : 30
    Tuna, canned in oil, drained [8] 4 oz 3.0 0.2 15 : 1
    Cod, fresh and frozen [8] 4 oz 0.1 0.6 1 : 6
    Mackerel, canned, drained [8] 4 oz 0.2 2.2 1 : 11
    Swordfish, fresh and frozen, cooked [8] 4 oz 0.3 1.7 1 : 5.6
    Crab, soft shell, cooked [8] 4 oz 0.1 0.6 1 : 6
    Lobster, cooked [8] 4 oz 0.006 0.12 1 : 20
    Bluefish, fresh and frozen, cooked [8] 4 oz 0.3 1.7 1 : 5.6
    Salmon, canned, drained [8] 4 oz 0.2 2.2 1 : 11
    Smelt, rainbow [8] 4 oz 0.2 0.5 1 : 2.5
    Scallops, Maine, fresh and frozen, cooked [8] 4 oz 0.1 0.5 1 : 5
    Pacific herring   4 oz   2.4  

    4. Nuts and Seeds

    Food Citation Serving Size Omega-6 (g) Omega-3 (g) Omega-6 : Omega-3 ratio
    Almonds, dry roasted [9] 1 oz 3.378 0.002 1987 : 1
    Cashews [10] 1 oz 2.179 0.017 125 : 1
    Chia seeds [11] 1 oz 1.620 4.915 1 : 3
    Coconut, raw [12] 1 oz 0.102 trace  
    Flax seeds [13] 1 oz 1.655 6.388 1 : 4
    Hazelnuts, filberts [14] 1 oz 2.193 0.024 90 : 1
    Pecans [15] 1 oz 5.777 0.276 21 : 1
    Pistachios, raw [16] 1 oz 3.696 0.071 52 : 1
    Poppy seed [17] 1 oz 7.921 0.076 104 : 1
    Pumpkin seeds, whole, roasted, without salt [18] 1 oz 2.452 0.021 114 : 1
    Sesame seeds, whole, dried [19] 1 oz 5.984 0.105 57 : 1
    Sunflower seeds, kernels, dried [20] 1 oz 6.454 0.021 312 : 1
    Walnuts [21] 1 oz 10.666 2.542 4.2 : 1
    Sacha Inchi seeds [22] 1 oz 5.486 4.771 1.15 : 1
    Lentils, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt [23] 1 oz 0.0384 0.0104 3.7 : 1

    5. Oils

    Food Citation Serving Size Omega-6 (g) Omega-3 (g) Omega-6 : Omega-3 ratio
    Avocado Oil     1.82 0.14 13:1
    Butter          
    Canola oil [8] 1 Tbsp 2.8 1.3 2.2 : 1
    Coconut oil          
    Cod liver oil [8] 1 Tbsp 0.3 2.8 1 : 9.3
    Corn oil         46 : 1[24]
    Cotton seed oil          
    Flax seed oil [8] 1 Tbsp 2.0 6.9 1 : 3.5
    Ghee          
    Grape seed oil          
    Lard          
    Olive oil [8] 1 Tbsp 1.1 0.1 11 : 1
    Palm oil          
    Peanut oil [25] 1 Tbsp 4.95 Trace 1 : 0.0
    Sardine oil [8] 1 Tbsp 0.5 3.7 1 : 7.4
    Soybean oil (hydrogenated)          
    Soybean oil, (Unhydrogenated) [8] 1 Tbsp 7.0 0.9 7.8 : 1
    Tallow (Grain Fed) [26]   3.35% 0.200% 16.8 : 1
    Tallow (Grass Fed) [26]   1.2% 0.8% 1.5 : 1
    Walnut oil [8] 1 Tbsp (15 g) 7.2 1.4 5.1 : 1
    Hemp seed oil [27][28] ? ? ? 2:1-3:1 [29]

    6. Grains and Beans

    Food Citation Serving Size Omega-6 (g) Omega-3 (g) Omega-6 : Omega-3 ratio
    Matpe (Vigna mungo bean), boiled [30] 1 cup 0.04 0.6 1 : 1.5
    Peanut, All types, raw [31] 1/2 cup 11.5 Trace 1 : 0
    Soybeans, dried, cooked [8] 1/2 cup 3.8 0.5 7.6 : 1
    Tofu, regular [8] 4 oz 2.1 0.3 7 : 1
    Nattō, regular [32] 1 cup 9.6 1.3 7.4 : 1
    Chickpeas, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt [33] 1 cup 1.825 0.07 25.9 : 1

    7. Green, Leafy Vegetables

    Food Citation Serving Size Omega-6 (mg) Omega-3 (mg) Omega-6 : Omega-3 ratio
    Arugula raw [34] 1 cup 26 34 1 : 1.3
    Green leaf lettuce, fresh, raw [8] 1 cup Trace Trace Trace
    Red leaf lettuce, fresh, raw [8] 1 cup Trace Trace Trace
    Boston lettuce or Bibb lettuce, fresh, raw [8] 1 cup Trace Trace Trace
    Brussels sprouts cooked [35] 1 cup 123 270 1 : 2.2
    Cabbage red, raw [36] 1 cup 30 40 1 : 1.3
    Chinese cabbage cooked, boiled, drained, without salt [37] 1 cup 52.7 69.7 1 : 1.3
    Chard, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt [38] 1 cup 43.7 5.3 8.2 : 1
    Sauerkraut, canned, low sodium [39] 1 cup 37 36 1 : 1
    Spinach, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt [40] 1 cup 30.6 166 1 : 5.4
    Turnip greens, cooked [8] 1/2 cup Trace Trace Trace
    Dandelion greens, cooked [8] 1/2 cup Trace 0.1 0 : 1
    Kale, cooked [8] 1/2 cup 0.1 0.1 1 : 1
    Kohlrabi raw [41] 1 cup 27 35 1 : 1.7
    Beet greens, cooked [8] 1/2 cup Trace Trace Trace
    Collard greens, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt [42] 1 cup 133 177 1 : 1.3
    Mustard greens, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt [43] 1 cup 33.6 30.8 1 : 1

    8. Root Vegetables

    Food Citation Serving Size Omega-6 (g) Omega-3 (g) Omega-6 : Omega-3 ratio
    Carrots, raw [44] 1 cup 0.147 0.0026 57 : 1
    Beets, raw [45] 1 cup 0.0748 0.0068 11 : 1
    Parsley, raw [46] 1 cup 0.069 0.0048 14 : 1
    Turnips, raw [47] 1 cup 0.0156 0.052 1 : 3.3

    9. Pumpkins and Squashes

    Food Citation Serving Size Omega-6 (g) Omega-3 (g) Omega-6 : Omega-3 ratio
    Butternut squash, Squash, winter, butternut, cooked, baked, without salt [48] 1 cup 0.0287 0.0492 1 : 1.7
    Zucchini, Squash, summer, zucchini, includes skin, raw [49] 1 cup 0.0347 0.0583 1 : 1.7
    Acorn squash, Squash, winter, acorn, cooked, baked, without salt [50] 1 cup 0.0451 0.0759 1 : 1.7
    Tomatoes, Tomatoes, red, ripe, raw [51] 1 cup 0.119 0.045 2.7 : 1

    10. Meat

    Food Citation Serving Size Omega-6 (%) Omega-3 (%) Omega-6 : Omega-3 ratio
    Kangaroo, average of all cuts and species. Measured on raw cut weight. [52] % of total fat 27.4 10.7 2.5 : 1

    References

    1. "Populations maintaining historic omega-6 to omega-3 ratios (approximately 1 to 1) are protected from many of the scourges of the modern age." Source: Andrew Stoll, The Omega-3 Connection. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2001, p. 43.
    2. William Lands, Fish, Omega-3 and Human Health. Urbana, Illinois: APCS Press, 2005, p. 10.
    3. Susan Allport, The Queen of Fats: Why Omega-3 Fats Were Removed From the Western Diet and What We Can Do to Replace Them. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007, p. 115.
    4. Andrew Stoll, The Omega-3 Connection. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2001, p. 40.
    5. Simopoulos, AP (2002). "The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids". Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy 56 (8): 365–79. doi:10.1016/S0753-3322(02)00253-6. PMID 12442909.  https://dx.doi.org/10.1016%2FS0753-3322%2802%2900253-6
    6. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/omega6-fatty-acids
    7. "Fish, Salmon". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/finfish-and-shellfish-products/4102/2. 
    8. "NutritionData". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2627/2. 
    9. "Almonds, dry roasted". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3085/2. 
    10. "Seeds, cashew nuts, raw". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3095/2. 
    11. "Seeds, chia seeds, dried". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3061/2. 
    12. "Nuts, coconut meat, raw". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3106/2. 
    13. "Seeds, flax seeds, dried". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3163/2. 
    14. "Nuts, hazelnuts or filberts". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3116/2. 
    15. "Nuts, pecans". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3129/2. 
    16. "Nuts, pistachio nuts, raw". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3135/2. 
    17. "Spices, poppy seed". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/spices-and-herbs/203/2. 
    18. "Seeds, pumpkin and squash seeds, whole, roasted, without salt". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3141/2. 
    19. "Seeds, sesame seeds, whole, dried". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3070/2. 
    20. "Seeds, sunflower seed kernels, dried". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3076/2. 
    21. "Sacha Inchi Omega 3:6 Ratio". https://sachainchisociety.com/articles/perfect-for-paleo/. 
    22. "Sacha Inchi Seeds: Perfect for Paleo". https://sachainchisociety.com/articles/perfect-for-paleo/. 
    23. "Lentils, mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt Nutrition Facts & Calories" (in en-US). http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4338/2. 
    24. http://omega6.wellwise.org/omega-6-omega-3-ratio
    25. "USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference". Nutrient Data Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
    26. "Fatty Acid Analysis of Grass-fed and Grain-fed Beef Tallow". Archived from the original on 10 March 2014. https://web.archive.org/web/20140310034334/http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/fatty-acid-analysis-of-grass-fed-and-grain-fed-beef-tallow. 
    27. Martina Bavec; Franc Bavec (2006). Organic Production and Use of Alternative Crops. London: Taylor & Francis Ltd. pp. 178. ISBN 1-4200-1742-X. https://books.google.com/books?id=70Ey7Kwqf3EC&pg=PA178#v=onepage&q&f=false. Retrieved Feb 18, 2013. 
    28. Callaway, J. C. (2004). "Hempseed as a nutritional resource: An overview". Euphytica 140 (1-2): 65–72. doi:10.1007/s10681-004-4811-6. ISSN 0014-2336.  https://dx.doi.org/10.1007%2Fs10681-004-4811-6
    29. The authors state the ratio as Omega-6:Omega-3 and that it lies "between 2:1 and 3:1".
    30. "Mungo bean, NutritionData". Nutritiondata.self.com with info from USDA SR-21. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4352/2. Retrieved 14 September 2016. 
    31. "NutritionData". Nutritiondata.self.com with info from USDA SR-21. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4448/2. Retrieved 14 September 2016. 
    32. "Nutrition Data". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4380/2. 
    33. "Chickpeas (garbanzo beans, bengal gram), mature seeds, cooked, boiled, without salt Nutrition Facts & Calories" (in en-US). http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4326/2. 
    34. "Arugula, raw". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/3025/2. 
    35. "Brussels sprouts, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2363/2. 
    36. "Cabbage, red, raw". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2373/2. 
    37. "Cabbage, chinese (pak-choi), cooked, boiled, drained, without salt". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2378/2. 
    38. "Chard, swiss, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2400/2. 
    39. "Sauerkraut, canned, low sodium". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2373/2. 
    40. "Spinach, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt Nutrition Facts & Calories" (in en-US). http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2627/2. 
    41. "Kohlrabi, raw". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2466/2. 
    42. "Collards, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2411/2. 
    43. "Mustard greens, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2490/2. 
    44. "Carrots, raw". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2383/2. 
    45. "Beets, raw". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2348/2. 
    46. "Parsley, raw". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2513/2. 
    47. "Turnips, raw". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2699/2. 
    48. "Squash, winter, butternut, cooked, baked, without salt". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2648/2. 
    49. "Squash, summer, zucchini, includes skin, raw". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2639/2. 
    50. "Squash, winter, acorn, cooked, baked, without salt". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2645/2. 
    51. "Tomatoes, red, ripe, raw". http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2682/2. 
    52. "Nutritional Composition of Kangaroo Meat". p. 13. https://rirdc.infoservices.com.au/downloads/08-142. 
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