Omega 3s and Nuts

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Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids cannot by synthesized in the human body and therefore must be obtained form food sources. The ideal balance of Omega 6 (n-6) to Omega 3 (n-3) is 2-3: 1. The typical North American diet generally is estimated between 10:1 up to 30:1. To manage this I supplement with fish oils, and try to balance my intake of foods containing both n-6 and n-3 (as the synthesis of n-3 is slowed by high concentrations of n-6). An interesting note is that many nuts often seen as a healthy choice may actually be aiding in disruption of this balance. For this reason I limit my consumption of nuts both in quantity and in type.

Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratios in common nuts

Walnuts: 4.2:1
Macadamia nuts: 6.3:1
Pecans: 20.9:1
Pine nuts: 31.6:1
Cashews 47.6:1
Pistachio nuts: 51.9:1
Hazel nuts: 90:1
Pumpkin seeds: 114.4:1
Brazil nuts: 377.9:1
Sunflower seeds: 472.9:1
Almonds: extremely high, no detectable Omega 3 fats
Peanuts (actually a legume): extremely high, no detectable Omega 3 fats

Wondering about fish oils? I use, and recommend the NutraSea liquid (available at the health food store); but many people are also happy with the capsules. I’d say choose whatever reduces the fish burps. As far as intake goes, Robb Wolf recommends .5-1g to 10# of body weight. You can also always start with the recommended dosage (on the bottle) and adjust from there.

Jesse