About those "healthy" fats from nuts and avocadoes

(Bob M) #1

So, I used Chronometer to set up two diets, with about the same calories. A high PUFA (partially unsaturated fatty acid) diet and a diet low in PUFA.

Here’s the diet high in PUFA:


This is simply dark meat chicken with the skin, nuts, bacon, and avocado. All “healthy” fats. Calories: 2265.

The result? Omega 6 intake of 51.3 grams per day, or 462 calories, or 20% of the calories (for the DAY) from Omega 6 fatty acids.

Compare this (the type of meals I have at times):


2,416 calories (slight more–sorry), but only 9.1 grams of Omega 6, or 81 calories or 3.4% of calories per day of Omega 6 fatty acids.

So, the supposedly “healthy” fats from bacon, avocado, nuts, and chicken add up to huge amount of PUFA per day.

(Bob M) #2

I keep seeing people say that fats like avocado, nuts, etc., are “healthy”, but I personally do not agree.

What are the possible issues with high amounts of PUFAs? One is that certain PUFAs might cause fat cells to be insulin sensitive, meaning your fat cells allow insulin and blood sugar into them. You’re getting fatter. (By contrast, saturated fat might cause your fat cells to be insulin resistant, meaning they don’t allow insulin and blood sugar into them; you’re getting skinnier.)

See this:

The second is that high amounts of PUFAs might CAUSE whole-body insulin resistance:

From the discussed study, which is a mouse study:


The highest graph is a graph of 22.5% linoleic acid, a PUFA (from sunflower and safflower oils, I believe). At some point, high levels of PUFAs might cause whole-body insulin resistance. (Yes, this is a study on mice, which I know might not be directly transferable to humans, but is illustrative for what might happen.)

So, if you are eating a lot of nuts, chicken, avocados and find yourself not losing weight, it might not be the fat content or calories per se, but the TYPE of fat you are eating that is causing you issues.

See also the following:


No one knows what the amount of PUFAs are we can have and not have deleterious effects. But if you find yourself at an impasse in weight loss and do not know why, look at what you’re eating and see what your daily PUFA intake is.

(Stylee) #3

And you can avoid some of these possible pitfalls by continually mixing up your diet and getting plenty of variety in there fat wise. Animal fats, EVOO, coconut oil, butter, fish oil, and multiple sources for proteins. Any diet focused on a limited list of foods can lead to issues IMHO.

(Whole Lotta Rosie The Riveter ) #4

I wonder if this is in any way mitigated by the glucose sparing effect seen in the context of a ketogenic diet? Much like the insulinogenic qualities of protein are not so profound if you’re not eating it in combination with carbs. Just thinking out loud - no plans to mainline PUFAs & certainly not seed oils but I probably won’t lie awake staring at the ceiling if I have chicken or avocado once or twice a week.

(Carl Keller) #5

From a N=1 standpoint, I’m eating about 3 avocados per week and I have no issues with losing weight. I like that avocados give a nice boost of potassium, which is not easy to get fair amounts of while eating ketogenically. Also the mono-saturated fats in avocados are supposedly good at lowering LDL cholesterol.

I like what @David_Stilley says about mixing up diet. Variety in whole foods certainly diversifies our nutrition profile.

Prudent advice. I would take a good look at nuts, foremost. I see a lot of anecdotal evidence in the forum that stalls can often be broken by cutting out nuts.

(Stylee) #6

Or dairy or cutting protein

(Jenny) #7

I just looked at my tracker and i have 1 gram of pufas for the day. a typical keto day for me. Veggies, some brown eggs, some roast, some peanut butter and fairlife milk. saturated fat 34. I guess I dont see the point of your post…if you wish to adjust your food choices, just do so. I dont normally eat nuts, avocados bacon and chicken in one day. unless someone eats this very food combination repeatedly…I don’t understand the angst in your post lol.

edited to clarify.

(Jenny) #8

no one here would suggest safflower oil or sunflower oil is a keto friendly fat. I am confused by this. *edited… ok I see what you are saying. the pufa’s in your post would be accidentally ingested by eating nuts. I think :slight_smile:

(Sheri Knauer) #9

I personally would concentrate on eating a variety of good foods and take a look at the nutrition on a weekly basis as opposed to daily. You may see a better ratio of omega3:6 over a weeks time.

(Banting & Yudkin & Atkins & Eadeses & Cordain & Taubes & Volek & Naiman & Bikman ) #10

The short of it is that ingesting large amounts of omega 6 pufa is largely unprecendented around the world. And the low levels of omega 3 pufa is also a fairly modern invention.

The ratio still matters but also the volume of 6 is kind of insane. You might, for the sake of science, look at a SAD or even a DASH diet like menu and see if your ketonian PUFA fantasy above is really bad or really a step in the right direction.

You will note that Dr. Mike calls it a new theory of obesity, but then goes back to say sth to the effect of, “after the carbs, yeah.”

(Jenny) #11

First of all, you are rude. if you dont want to eat keto, dont. Eat a “vegan fantasy diet”, or whatever makes you happy.

perhaps you missed this part of my post:
I just looked at my tracker and i have 1 gram of pufas for the day.

so you selected some high pufa foods and formulated a bad day. ok. so don’t eat those foods.

I agree with what you are saying, pufas are bad. but the logic you use to back up your case and your anger seem a bit misplaced.

edited for clarity

(Scott) #12

This^^^^Ever since I have been keeping a bag of macadamia nuts in my office I have been in a stall. I can hear them in the cabinet mocking me, must make them stop.

(Ilana Rose) #13

I had to give up nuts. I just didn’t have the self control to keep them around. Some people here can count out a few a day and I seriously applaud them, but if I know there are more in the freezer my mind will find the excuse it needs to go eat some more.

(Carl Keller) #14

Give them up and see if it makes a difference. Can’t hurt to try.

(Alex N.) #15

A standard diet has 20 times more Omega-6 than it should due to vegetable oils and processed food.

Vegetable oils are also inflammatory due to other reasons, having to do with industrial extraction processes and the toxins naturally found in grains. This is important to mention because many studies on Omega-6 are using vegetable oils, which can act as a confounding factor.

Eating avocado or chicken skin is in my opinion OK. Lately I’ve been eating more beef and lamb myself, cutting down on my pork, precisely because of Omega-6, but on the other hand if you start seeing bad food everywhere, there won’t be anything left to eat.

People that don’t think that are on the verge of a serious eating disorder that is hard to recover from. And nutrient deficiencies are much worse imo than a high omega-6 intake.

Also, FYI, humans don’t digest food very well due to our small intestinal tract. But there are two food categories we are evolved to digest easily:

  1. Meat
  2. Starchy plants (e.g. potatoes)

We literally have several identified genes in our dna for digesting starchy root vegetables, which represented a big part of the human diet during the Paleolithic.

So I hate to be the contrarian, but big slides with “carbohydrates make you fat” smells like bullshit to me, because it contradicts millions of years of evolution. Similar with the idea that saturated fats give us heart disease, smells like same kind of bullshit.

(Banting & Yudkin & Atkins & Eadeses & Cordain & Taubes & Volek & Naiman & Bikman ) #16

I’m gonna need some links on that claim. Your say so isn’t going to cut it.

And honestly, Dr. Fettke’s slide is reinforced by the entire presentation. There’s nothing magical about carrot and sweet potato starch that doesn’t break it down to glucose and fructose.

(Scott) #17

Agreed however I bought two bags this weekend so I could have one at the office and one at home. Nobody said that I need to make this easy.

(Carl Keller) #18

I have a two pound container of almonds in my fridge that I barely touch anymore… so I understand what you are saying. :wink:

(Jennibc) #19

I eat avocados just about every day, about 60 to 70’s grams and have for the past eight years. I am down 100 pounds. The days I don’t eat them, I don’t feel as well - they are my main source of potassium since I cut out bananas so I will not give them up. I think as with anything it comes down to cost vs. benefit. Maybe that is why I only average of loss of about 3-4 pounds of a month, but that’s good enough for me. I also eat nuts just about every day.

(Scott) #20

Just tell me where your fridge is and nobody gets hurt!