I was recently telling our Total Food Makeover participants about the difference in omega 3 vs omega 6 fatty acids. Along the way, I mentioned that I don’t take a fish oil anymore. Why, because I eat so much Omega 3 fatty acid, that it would make no sense to take it. Now, I will say, that I try to track my consumption in a day, and supplement when I need to (today for example is a supplement day). Point being, there are ways to get a ton of healthy fat in your diet.
Beef is bad fat!
Well, that is true of the beef that has been eaten almost exclusively by Americans in the last thirty years. But now as we turn the clock back to a time of a pasture raised cow, with no hormones, antibiotics or corn feed… the cow is producing healthy fat in their body. In grass FINISHED cows (explain this in a minute), there have been some amounts of beef that have been tested and found to have an equal amount of Omega 3 fat as Omega 6 fat. A 1:1 ratio is a very impressive number.
Compare that to 1:4 ratios found in grass fed, grain finished beef (this would be the typical grass fed beef used in grass fed processed meats like applegate farms hot dogs, or in grass fed ground beef sold in Publix or Harry’s for that matter). The law allows producers to finish their cattle with grain for 90 days before slaughter, and they can still call that a grass fed cow. So you might ask, who cares about O-6 fat levels?
Omega 6 fat is the fat that at high levels will cause serious inflammation, and sadly, that inflammation occurs in the blood vessels for most people. So when a patient comes in brand new off the streets, and says, “I avoid red meat”. I usually say “good, now its time to change that”. But the good is important, because if you don’t know beef, or fats, then I would rather you eat very little to none of what is out there. But we want to change that once you understand the value of grass fed. Oh, did I mention that pack of grain fed beef that you are buying (even if it is organic) has a 1:20 ratio of O-3 to O-6? And that burger from McDonalds might just be closer to 1:30!
So why don’t you buy farm raised fish? Because they don’t have the healthy fat in them like a sea caught fish. But why? What is it that makes these fish so special in the wild? Well, this little plant called phytoplankton is eaten up by krill (remember Will and Bill Krill in the Happy Feet sequel?) Thus these krill are now the intermediary causing Omega 3 fatty acid synthesis. And much the way krill cause the start of omega 3 in the food chain, beef does the same by eating grass, which is very close in status to the phyto plankton. This is a quick transition up the food chain in grazing animals, as we have them feed on grass, then we feed on them. This makes it more difficult for the O-3 levels to be high, because we eat the grazing animal, thus there is no time for bio accumulation.
Which is what makes the 1-1 ratio that much more profound. See the krill are eaten by whales, but also by many other fish and marine mammals. This passes the O-3 fats on to those other animals, who are eaten by other animals, etc. Allowing bio accumulation to occur, keeping you alive many many years thanks to that increase in O-3 fats!
So the next time someone tells you they are limiting red meat, you might want to tell them they shouldn’t do that, as long as they are eating the right type of red meat! Which is a perfect time to segway into this…. we are ordering beef from indian creek angus right now. So if you have yet to get your hands on locally raised clean grass fed beef, now is our time. Just let Loree know, Loree@HealthSprout.com!
Remember – O-3 saves lives, so consume it more than in supplement form! Be well, be blessed! – Dr. E