Happy Monday all! One of my readers, Pari Johnson, brought up a great point that I seem to have glossed over. The Omega 6 : Omega 3 ratio of this product. Here is what Pari has to say:
Thank you for your research and ‘telling it like it is’. An acquaintance who sells ZEAL sent me some samples. I was just not comfortable with it. I questioned its 1:19 ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 (their website gives it as:“Omega 3 Fatty Acids 60 mg+Omega 6 Fatty Acids 1,155 mg”). “An Omega-6:Omega-3 ratio that is too high can contribute to excess inflammation in the body, potentially raising the risk of all sorts of diseases.” http://authoritynutrition.com/optimize-omega-6-omega-3-ratio/ When I asked about ZEAL’s out-of-balance ratio, I got answers that didn’t make sense. Thankfully I never used ZEAL, not only becs of this, but also I saw the caffeine issues and I’m sensitive to caffeine. Did you mention the Omega 6:Omega 3 problem in your articles? I ask becs I didn’t read all of them.
I am mentioning it now. I have to say, this has been a pretty hot topic in the health and wellness community, as well as the medical field in general. First off, we need to understand a little about fats, and the different types, I will list them and we can dive into them, because admittedly, fat is my favorite food group, and it somehow gets a bad rap. Yes, it is a concentrated source of calories, but your body needs it, and in it’s more natural forms is a good, nutrient dense source of energy.
Monounsaturated Fat (MUFA): These are characterized by one double bond in the fatty acid chain. These are in (not comprise) a plethora of foods containing fat. Just about all foods containing fat have this fat. This is considered the “healthy fat” in the nutrition world. They are said to lower LDL cholesterol, and raise HDL cholesterol.
Saturated Fat: All available carbon is bound to hydrogen atoms. These are found mainly in animal sources, but also in some plant sources IE: coconut oil, palm oil, and other tropical oils. The one thing to note about saturated fat is that it is darn near impervious to oxidation. Oxidized fat is bad news. More on that later. This raises both serum cholesterol levels. The government has been slow to accept that this type of fat isn’t as bad as we used to think. In short, it ain’t that bad, and fat from meat contains Stearic acid, vitamins A,D, and K2. Nutrient and calorie dense. (On a side note, every time you “burn fat” from your body, you are burning saturated fat). So whether you are burning your thunder thighs off, or taking a bite if that thick, juicy porterhouse you just cooked up your body treats it the same way.
Trans-Fat: Is the devil. Seriously. Unnatural chemical modified fat that makes things more shelf stable. There are good trans-fats from meat and dairy which occur naturally, they are more commonly referred to as CLAs (Conjugated Linoleic Acids).These are what you hear about when those crazy raw vegans scream that all animal products have trans fats. Sure do. You probably have a B12, calcium, iron, and choline deficiency along with unshaved armpits as well you crazy, unhealthy vegan. Back to the evil one. Your body doesn’t recognize it as a fat, as the chemical alteration changes the position of the hydrogen atoms. So instead of burning it passes straight to your blood stream and begins initiating a free radical party in your body. I would tell you to read the label, but that won’t work. The wonderful FDA states that if there is less than .5 grams per serving you can just round down. So manufacturers shrink the serving size as not to have to list it. Money wins on this one again. The best I can tell you, if there is the hydrogenation mentioned anywhere on the label, place it back on the shelf. Avoid unlabeled baked foods as well (you should be anyways). This goes for interresterified fats as well. (Those are actually in studies showing to be worse than trans-fat).
Polyunsaturated fats (PUFA): This is a real double edged sword. This is what the article is all about. Guess what? PUFAs have more than one double bond in the fatty acid chain. Incidentally, these are actually the most susceptible to oxidation and going rancid. Oxidized fat is pretty much as bad as trans-fat. Being exposed to light, air, or intense heat can cause these bad boys to oxidize, so care should be used whilst handling. (I keep my fish oil supplements in the fridge). It is also worth noting that Omega 6 and Omega 3 fats are “essential fatty acids.” This means your body can’t produce them on it’s own. The only way to get them is through diet. Furthermore, just because Omega 3 is advertised, doesn’t mean it is healthy. It could be nastily heated, processed, and rancid. Check the con-ola link in the references.
Moreover, fats come in varying ratios in different oils and meats. Most folks don’t know this. Most assume olive oil is all MUFA, and meat is all saturated. Not the case. Examples:
Olive oil (1 Tbsp): 15% Saturated, 72% MUFA, and 13% PUFA. Omega 6:3 ratio 13:1
1300mg Omega 6: 100mg Omega 3
Corn Oil (1 Tbsp): 14% Saturated, 48% MUFA, and 38% PUFA. Omega 6:3 ratio 76:1
4568mg Omega 6: 60mg Omega 3
Canola oil (1 Tbsp): 7% Saturated, 64% MUFA, 28% PUFA, and 1% trans. Omega 6:3 ratio 2:1
2610mg Omega 6: 1279mg Omega 3
Coconut Oil (1 Tbsp): 87% Saturated, 9% MUFA, and 4% PUFA Omega 6:3 ratio 2:0
240mg Omega 6
Butter, Unsalted (1 Tbsp): 63% Saturated, 26% MUFA, and 11% PUFA Omega ratio varies by cow’s diet. Typically between 4:1 and 1:1
Ribeye (38% fat, 100g): 38% Saturated, 41% MUFA, 3% PUFA,18% other (beats me, possibly CLA?) Ratio varies by cow’s diet. Typically between 4:1 and 1:1
Sockeye Salmon (Wild Caught, 100g): 17% Saturated, 48% MUFA, 35% PUFA; Omega 6:3 Ratio 1:12
110mg Omega6: 1400mg Omega 3
As you can see, in some things, ratio really matters, and some things it doesn’t. It matters more in corn oil (avoid, nasty) and less in olive oil. Grass fed is more important in butter, and less in meat. (Grass fed has an improved omega 6:3 ratio). Oh, and wild caught sockeye salmon for the absolute win. Delicious too!
Finally to the point!
What ratio should you be getting? It depends, really. Science and studies have indicated that you want somewhere between 5:1 and 1:1 depending on your health status. A more improved Omega 6:3 ratio seemed to help with asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, heart conditions, and the list goes on. Most Americans average 10-30:1. So, how does the zeal system stack up on this? Let’s find out. Same format as above, folks.
Zeal Wellness Drink (1 Serving): 17% saturated, 33% MUFA (not listed), 60% PUFA 19.25:1 Omega 6:3 Ratio
1155mg Omega 6: 60mg Omega 3
The protein drink has fat too, it is just that the ratios and amounts aren’t disclosed (in typical Zeal fashion). Anyways, does this really matter? Well, yes and no.
One part of me really wants to rip this up because the ratio is terrible. If you take it 3 times a day, you might as well swallow a dollup of corn oil. You are probably eating worse than that anyways. If you do the math, you would have to take 3 1200mg naturemade fish oils to balance one serving out to 1:1. Or just 1 for 3:1. Or just eat a serving of sockeye.
I would continue to rip this up because THE PANEL OF OMNIPITENT DOCTORS SHOULD KNOW BETTER. Everyone comments on how smart they are, but really, how did they not know this. This is widely known in the medical world. Especially the health and wellness and preventative medicine world. The US Government even suggests you get 2 servings of fatty fish a week (shoot for more) for the same reason! If they were that far off on this, what else are that far off on? Hint: read every other thing I have written. Why don’t they sell a high quality fish oil supplement to balance things out? Why do they say it doesn’t have caffeine? Why do they think this crap is safe for children and pregnant women? Lack of research and poor research? Ahh… I know, it is all about the Benjamins.
On the other hand, this is one of the least offensive things about it. If you just take one serving a day, it is easily balanced out. You had better not still be taking the burn and cleanse. One serving really isn’t that much worse than a Tbsp of olive oil PUFA wise. Whatever, I have that much olive oil on my salad daily. Usually balanced out with flax seeds BTW.
At the end of the day, of course Zurvita did poor research, and finds some studies from the back alley or makes outlandish claims to support themselves. Either way, on this one, you make the decision. The only thing I highly recommend on this is go find yourself a good high quality USP verified fish oil, of course running it by your doctor first. I love my naturemade burpless. I take it every day. I don’t burp it back up. Winner in my book.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070116131545.htm (Inter…whatever fats)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12442909 (On treatment of diseases)
http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/the-great-con-ola (Canola Oil is Disgusting)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12480795 (On inflamation and autoimmune)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2846864/ (Grass Fed meat)
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF02873539 (Heat Oxidizing)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11790959 (Oxidized Fats)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16270280 (More on oxidized fats)
All fat info referenced from USDA Nutrient Database: