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From: Jeff Novick, MS, RD, LD, LN (novick.vegsource.com)
Subject:         Re: Do nuts have too much omega 6 ?
Date: March 22, 2009 at 8:39 am PST

In Reply to: Do nuts have too much omega 6 ? posted by Nick on March 21, 2009 at 9:10 pm:

Greetings,

You raise an important point, and, not so much the point of
whether or not nuts are high in Omega 6's but the point of why we
have to evaluate foods as total packages and not isolated nutrients
or compounds. In todays world, many foods are promoted
because of a certain positive aspect of the food, while ignoring any
negative (or potential negative) aspects of the same food.

You are correct that most nuts are very high in omega 6s and have
little if any omega 3s and so they have very very poor ratios of
omega 6 to omega 3s.

Here are the ratio's

English Walnuts 4:1
Macadamia is 6:1
Black Walnuts are 16:1
Pecans are 20:1
Pistachio is 37:1
Hazelnut is 88:1
Cashew is 117:1
Pumpkin Seeds 117:1
Sunflower Seeds 300:1
Pine Nuts are 300:1
Brazil Nut is 1000:1
Almonds 1800:1

CA Avocados 15:1
FL Avocados 16.5:1

Flaxseed 3.9:1 ***
Chia Seed 3:1 ***

(***these are a reverse ratio as the omega 3 is higher than the
omega 6)

In addition, while we are on the topic, some nuts/seeds are higher
in saturated fat.

Black Walnuts are 5%

Flaxseed 6%
Chia Seed 6%
Almonds are 6%
Hazelnut is 6.5%
Sunflower Seeds 6.5%
Pine Nuts are 6.6%
English Walnuts are 8%
Pecans are 8%
Pistachio is 8.5%
Cashew is 12.5%
Pumpkin Seeds 14%
Macadamia is 15%
Brazil Nut is 21%

CA Avocados 11.5%
FL Avocados 15%

So, if the omega 6 content, and the ratios of essential fats and the
amount of saturated fat is a concern to you, then I am sure these
numbers would be of a similar concern to you.

In small amounts, these will not likely offset anyones ratio or
contribute greatly to the saturated fat content of the diet. However,
in larger amounts, when they are making up a larger percentage of
someone's calories, they easily could.

This is why I recommend that the amount of nuts/seeds be limited
to no more than 1-2 oz per day and if included, we should focus
on the ones with the best ratio's and the lowest amounts of
saturated fat.

In Health
Jeff

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