Omega 3 vs. Omega 6

I was reading a summary by Krispin Sullivan the other day on thyroid function (fancy that, me reading something about thyroid) and she mentioned the following:

“-There is now recognized in the literature a ‘thyroid resistance syndrome’ similar in character to ‘insulin resistance’. This manifests as symptoms of low thyroid function but normal thyroid blood work. An imbalance of omega-3/omega-6 fatty acids can contribute to this condition. Lowering omega-6 fats and dramatically increasing omega-3 (fish oil NOT flax, see Update on Essential Fats) has improved or normalized thyroid function in some persons.”

This quote came on the heels of my having just read a free download on a site created by Matt Stone. Matt has done extensive research regarding a healthy diet and states that he gobbles up books, so when he puts his mind to something he reads voraciously. After extensive research, and his list of reference material is multiple pages long, Matt has concluded that a diet high in Omega 6 fats contributes to a slow metabolism, low body temperatures and in general dis-ease.

I downloaded Matt’s free e-book (and you can too, I highly recommend it) and dutifully read through RRARF (Rehabilitative Rest & Aggressive Re-Feeding) agreeing and disagreeing with what he had to say. In fact, I am still digesting it and trying to decide if he is really on to something because anybody can tell us they know “the secret”, it is up to us to be skeptical and do our own research, draw our own conclusions. The next day I happened to reread Krispin Sullivan’s statement and my jaw dropped because I hadn’t really thought about the relationship between Omega 3 intake and Omega 6 intake and my thyroid disease. Matt talks about how it steps up your metabolism and makes your body work better but silly me I didn’t put two and two together, so just when I had rejected his ideas I found myself ready to restock the pantry.

Once you download his book and have a read through it you, too, will be amazed by how overloaded your diet may be with Omega 6. As an example, I thought I was using one of the best oils for cooking because of its high smoke point and had almost quit using anything else. However, as I read Matt’s list of foods grapeseed oil was on his ultra bad list, extremely high in Omega 6, over the top awful. I felt my heart sink. If grapeseed oil is evil what else was I doing wrong? Um, just about everything. I love walnuts, again “most evil”. Peanut butter, “very high”. Almonds “high”. Even olive oil is “moderate” along with eggs, popcorn and olives. Crikey! My diet was full of Omega 6 fats and seriously I had no idea. I felt defeated, I have always taken pride in knowing what was healthy and what didn’t belong in the house. However, I will not be defeated I will take this bull by the horns and come to my own conclusion.

If Krispin and Matt are on to something. If my metabolism, my thyroid and any resultant inflammation could be rectified by eliminating or lowering the Omega 6s in my diet I have some work to do. I am willing to give it a try but I need to use up some of the oils and food I currently have on hand as I simply can’t afford to reject what is there. I buy organically raised food and I basically work for our food, so I am not throwing it away that would be wasteful and counter productive (depression is not linked to a happy healthy body). I think, little by little, I can replace items in the pantry and refrigerator with items from his list of “Extremely Low Omega 6 Sources”.

It is entirely possible that instead of almonds for a snack, I could have macadamia nuts. If I want a potato I could have it and even saute it in coconut oil or palm kernel oil. Or I could bake it and serve it with grass fed raw butter. If chicken sounds good for supper I can easily remove the skin before I cook it or we could have lamb chops instead of chicken. Matt even provides a list of four food categories you can make each snack or meal from, protein, carbohydrate,fats and vegetables. Your goal evidently being to stay within the percentage of Omega 6 that is healthy and it will eventually rev up your metabolism.

I think Krispin Sullivan’s update on “essential fats” is imperative and I am going to order at least one of Matt Stone’s books (180 Degree Kitchen), so I have a better idea of the efficacy, the validity of what the man has to say. I have thyroid resistance and as my readers know this past year has been a real roller coaster ride. I detest roller coasters, so that gives you some idea of how difficult this year has been but if, and it is a big IF, cutting down on Omega 6 fats and foods would help my thyroid I am willing to give it a try. I have a lot more research to do and I will try to keep you up-to-date, so check this space in the coming months.

Have a great week and try to decrease those Omega 6 fats,

Kris

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2 responses to this post.

  1. I’m reluctant to jump on this band wagon because many of these foods (walnuts) are so good for you in other ways (heart disease). I also use grapeseed oil because most other cooking oils oxidize which has got to be worse for you. If you are going to do a dietary trial, I’ll wait to see your feedback. Currently I’m in dietary analysis fatigue.

    Reply

    • I am going to give it a try. I downloaded the 180 Degree Kitchen today and finally found some macadamia nuts to have as a snack. When I first looked at Matt’s site I thought he was too far out for me but then as various issues kept coming up for me (walnuts made the inside of my mouth raw, Omega 6 fats are really not very good for thyroid sufferers) I realized it would be worth a try.
      I will keep you posted although I am doing it gradually until my pantry can be restocked. 180 Degree Kitchen is an interesting read and Matt even gives you some cooking lessons, so I have already learned how to use my Chef’s knife correctly (even though he isn’t fond of the Chef’s knife I have) and how to make ghee correctly.

      Reply

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