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How much fat? Can there be too much?

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  • How much fat? Can there be too much?

    Hi everyone!

    I'm pretty new at this- about 2 weeks now. Seeing good results but just wondering how much fat I should be aiming for if I'm trying to lose weight- or does it matter? I've spent hours reading everything I can on the site, and I'm excited about it! I've been using Fit Day to track my food so I like that they give the percentages of fat/carbs/protein. Is there a percentage that I should use or just track it in grams? Sorry if these questions are stupid, I've just never actually tried to eat fat while trying to lose weight (but I'm happy to do so!!!).

    I'm doing good with my carb level, but I don't think I'm getting enough fat. Guess part of me is just a little stuck in CW-land, but I'd say the majority is just not knowing how much is too much for weight loss.

    Thanks for any help and advice!

  • #2
    Id just say for weightloss try to keep your carbs to a bare minimum and dont worry about counting fat. Just eat till you are full, if u are still hungry (geniuinely hungry) eat more fat. Im keeping my fat to about 70% of my calorie intake, 5-10% carbs and 20-25% protien. Doesnt really matter how many calories I eat when I keep my fat high and my carbs low, I still am losing (even though I eat 2000-2500+ calories, when doing CW i couldnt lose eating 1500). So just dont think too hard about it, thats the beauty of eating primally. Just eat lots of good stuff (meat, fat, leafy veggies if you so desire) and stay away from sweets. Listen to your body, itll tell you when u have had enough fat
    Natural Selection:


    • #3
      Weight loss on PB is pretty much contingent on fat-based diet as many such as Griff have demonstrated. Fat is fuel and while there are some out there who advocate a protein-based weight-loss, that's just not metabolically healthy. Weight loss is the result of getting healthy, not the way we get healthy.

      With regards to calories, 70% should probably be fat with 20-30% protein and 0-10% carbs. Ratio of Omega 3 fatty acids to omega 6 fatty acids should be 1:1 and I wouldn't have more than 5-10% of fats as PUFAs. Half of fats should ideally be saturated fats and the remainer will obviously b monounsaturated.

      It's also very important to be eating a nutritionally complete diet with enough of all of the micronutrients.
      Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

      Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!


      • #4
        Hey Stabby, I have been trying to figure out how to monitor my PUFA's. I am no math wiz and have just been focusing on getting used to the nutrient ratio's you recommended above. Now I am confident with my nutrients I am trying to dicriminate amongst Omega 6/Omega 3's. How the heck do you go about estimating this? I've seen some lists and was shocked at what had moderate amounts of 6 but does that mean to avoid such delicious goodness such as olive oil or limit it? And if limit, How much? I am lost on this one. Anybody have input?


        • #5
          It means limit it but don't necessarily cut it out entirely. The way to know is by using fitday or nutritionfacts to add all of your fats together and make sure those PUFAs are in a 1:1 ratio. There are going to be a few types of PUFAs. There's linoleic (LA) and arachidonic acid (AA) as the main omega 6 fatty acids. LA will be found in the plant world and AA will be found in the animal world. Then for omega 3 fatty acids there's alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) in the plant world and EPA and DHA (I'm not going to try to spell their full names!) in the animal world. LA and ALA convert to AA and EPA/DHA respectively once we consume them but ALA doesn't convert very efficiently and LA does convert very efficiently so this poses a problem because we're going to need a hefty amount of EPA and DHA from animal sources, mainly fish but also pastured and grass-fed meats, or failing that, fish oil supplements (probably a good idea anyway). ALA does have some benefits to it like blocking LA's access to the enzyme that converts it to AA so I advocate something like flax or chia seeds to accompany nuts, seeds, olive oil. There will be some nay-sayers but I think it's a good thing to add these. AA gets converted to pro-inflammatory bad guys and Omega 3s EPA/DHA get converted to anti-inflammatory good guys. That's the jist of our ratio, keeping inflammation down.

          In summary:

          LA->AA->Inflammatory bad guy
          ALA(poor conversion but tends to block LA-AA conversion)->EPA/DHA->Anti-inflammatory good guy

          Animals come with AA and EPA/DHA but not LA or ALA

          Plants come with LA or ALA but not EPA/DHA or AA.

          Some tips:

          -Grass-fed and pastured meats tend to have a better balance. Less AA and more EPA/DHA. Beef is quite low in AA compared to pork and chicken so I advocate eating more of it than those.
          -Wild low-contaminant fish is awesome. Mainly this is salmon, sardines, anchovies, etc. Avoid farmed fish because they will have more AA
          -Omega 3 eggs or the cage-free organic eggs are a pretty good idea, they'll have a better ratio than the conventional ones and a lot more nutrients in general.
          -Fish oil will probably be necessary to make up for any use of conventional meats or just to balance the ratios from chicken and pork products regardless.
          -GLA is another PUFA that gets synthesized in small amounts by the body and it also has an anti-inflammatory effect like omega 3 fatty acids (even though it's technically an omega 6. It can't hurt to add some in the form of borage oil. My pick is borage oil as opposed to evening primrose because evening primrose usually comes with a lot of LA.
          -Certain herbs and teas such as ginger, the curcuminoids from turmeric, green tea, and the chemicals from cocoa have been known to inhibit the production of the pro-inflammatory eicosanoids (what cause inflammation that are derived from the omega 6s) so add some of that stuff for good measure.

          Generally most extremist paleo people advocate about 5% of total calories as PUFA (6-10% of fats depending on how much fat you eat). I wouldn't go over 10% of total fats but I think that the more pressing issues are have they been oxidized by cooking/improper storage and what is the ratio? But there are some concerns with total amount of PUFAs regardless of ratio so I say 10% of fats max. All in all I think that 1:1 is the way to go and I do manage this but I'm an extremist and I don't see 1:2 for beginners as anything to cry about considering most people are like 1:10.

          Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

          Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!


          • #6
            Rocking post! Thank you so much, very helpful and to the point. Easy to run in circles researching this stuff. This post is user-friendly but I'm still going to read it a dozen times. This is the one of the reasons I am embarking on my paleo-esque lifestyle; overall longterm health, of course the better body composition is a nice perk too ;P I imagine someday I too will most likely be an extremist. But no rush, it'll happen on its own. Thanks again.



            • #7
              Can I in fitday see my omega 3 and omega 6 intake as in nutritiondata? Have looked for over 30 mins but still cant fint it