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Do You Have Low Omega-3 Levels?

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ArcticMed omega 3 premiumAlternate title: How to Fix Your Omega-6 to Omega-3 Imbalance and Rejuvenate Your Cell Membranes


I currently have two main focuses in my life: Business and health.

Without money, you can’t do what you want.

And without health, you can’t live.

It’s a simple enough proposition, so it boggles my mind that most people go at it half-assed.

I’ve met a lot of people lately who are good at business but are unhealthy. There’s no need for that. Just do what I did, first you get healthy and then you get wealthy.

Now that I fixed my Omega-3 levels, I’m done with part one.

My energy levels are consistently high, my mental focus is good, my body is strong, I don’t get sick, nor do I have stomach aches or headaches.

So I can work hard.

As I’ve said many times, the first part of my plan was to get ripped. That took me 2 year of consistent effort. I prioritized it above of my university studies at the time—which in hindsight turned out to be a good choice.

Then, when I got candida, I had to learn about digestion and other diet-related stuff, which I didn’t know at the time. That was a big learning experience; to realize how fragile the body can be.

To be healthy, here’s what it boils down to–in order of priority:

Regular exercise

> Diet & sleep

>> Supplements

And in that specific order I have also put my time and energy when it comes to getting enough momentum with my health to put it on “automation”.

—That means I do not count calories, I do not keep track of my diet every day, nor do I plan out my physical exercise. Everything is habitual.

What could be easier?

I just fast 16 hours every day, exercise 4-6 times per week, and eat shortly after working out (while assimilation of nutrients is optimal).

And I do not eat when I’m intoxicated.

I typically fast that entire day, if I’ve had the chance to schedule the event in beforehand.

Here are the most important supplements I use:

  1. Vitamin D
  2. Magnesium and zinc
  3. Multivitamin 1
  4. High quality Omega-3 (lots of EPA & DHA)
  5. Olive oil (high polyphenol value)

The first three are no-brainers—and probably everyone who reads this also uses them—but the last two may be less known. Despite this, they may be the most important ones. Especially Omega-3.

ArcticMed- Olivolja_013

[A good olive oil with extra high polyphenol value, if you live in Europe. 2]

So What’s the Deal with Omega-3?

A couple of months ago Mikael Syding told me about his perfect Omega-3 levels. Then he asked me what my levels were.

My Omega-3 levels?

I said I had no idea, but confidently added that I ought to have pretty good ones, since I had taken Omega-3 almost every day for about 8 years.

Mikael suggested that I do a fatty acid analysis blood test, and then referred me to his guy.

Said and done: I ordered the test, picked it up, unpacked it, sat down to do it and then sent it off in the prepacked return envelope.

arcticmed fatty acid test

[Pictured: What the unpacked fatty acid analysis blood test looked like.]

It was easy to do the test. I just followed the instructions (a checklist was included) and finished it within 30 minutes. The funniest part was pricking my finger and filling out the circles with blood. .

arcticmed fatty acid test finger prick

“Bleed in the name of science.”

After posting the envelope I waited for about 10 days.

When I Got the Test Results Back I Was Shocked!

And mildly embarrassed. Because my Omega-3 levels where nowhere as high as I had confidently touted to Mikael.

For the majority of people the most important metrics in the blood test are:

  1. Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio, which is a measure of your total amount of Omega-6 fatty acids divided by your total amount of Omega-3 fatty acids. The optimal result is a ratio of 2:1, which means you have twice as much Omega-6 as you do Omega-3.
  2. Omega-3 Index, which tells you the total % of Omega-3 fatty acids in your blood cells. The optimal levels are around 8%.

I had a good Omega-3 Index at 9% and an Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio of 4.44*.

This is better than the average man on the street (who doesn’t take care of his body), but it’s still slightly mediocre.

*Note: This seems pretty decent at first glance, but when looking closer at my test results, you see that it’s a bit misleading, as I:

a) did not have enough EPA and

b) had rather excessive levels of many Omega-6 fatty acids:

1Arcticmed test results essentials

Arcticmed test results 2 Arcticmed test results3  Arcticmed test results4

[Yes, I know the test is in Swedish. Sorry about that. I will give you a comparison summary of key metrics in the end of the article.]

Mikael had mentioned it when we talked before, but now that I was sitting and reviewing my test results, I gained first-hand knowledge that. . .

All Omega-3 Supplements Are Not Created Equal!

The capsules I had been taking for 8 years were low-grade and cheap.

And, worse still, I had only been taking the prescribed dosage, which was only one-third of what I was supposed to take! 3

The benefits I got from taking those capsules for 8 long years were negligible.

This is why it’s important to test things. You need the feedback, or you can go years fooling yourself that things are hunky dory. Test your assumptions.

Imagine if I had fixed this at age 16. Maybe I would not have had such brain fog and poor concentration. I guess we’ll never know.

But Even if I Had Taken a Full Dosage of Those Capsules it May Still Not Have Worked

Because even if you consume a sufficient dosage of Omega-3, your body still needs to properly assimilate it. The best way to ensure that you do this is by eating foods with high amounts of antioxidants. Like tomatoes, spinach, blueberries and oregano, for example.

However, the best Omega-3 supplements contain a blend of potent antioxidants mixed with the fish oil.

Why Omega-3 is Important for Your Brain & Body

The cells in your body are made up of fats, and 2/3 of your brain is made up of fat cells. So you need fats–of the right sort.

Most of these fats your body can synthesize on its own, but some of these fats it cannot. These are called essential fatty acids.

You must get them through your diet.

If you don’t have enough essential fatty acids–or if you don’t have the proper ratio of Omega-6/Omega-3–then your brain and body will not function optimally!

This can lead to all sorts of problems. . .

Here are some of the most pressing issues:

  • Less motivation & worse concentration due to suboptimal levels of dopamine and lower levels of testosterone.
  • Weight problems and/or hunger pangs due to a sluggish insulin response.
  • Various other hormonal issues (mood swings, brain fog, dry skin, anxiety, sleeping problems, etc.) which persist despite having gone through “conventional” measures.
  • Early onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s (a long-term effect from a life with deficient Omega-3 levels).

If you’ve had these health issues for a longer period of time and you’ve tried to solve them without having been able to improve your situation, then the problem may be related to low levels of Omega-3.

How can these problems be related to (lack of) Omega-3?

Not enough Omega-3 > your cell membranes malfunction > bodily communication gets messed up and hormonal responses get jumbled.

Often the problem is not just low Omega-3 levels but also excessive levels of Omega-6, which makes the body inflamed for no good reason.

We Have Too Much Omega-6 and Not Enough Omega-3!

The increases in world LA4 consumption over the past century may be considered a very large uncontrolled experiment that may have contributed to increased societal burdens of aggression, depression and cardiovascular mortality.

–Joseph Hibbeln, Researcher

As you may suspect, this is largely a diet-related problem.

The majority of “modern” foods contain a bunch of Omega-6 and trans-fatty acids. For example:

  • Non grass-fed meats are high in Omega-6 (due to the animals being fed cheap corn concentrate).
  • Basically all junk foods, pre-made desserts, and fried foods contain trans-fats.
  • Seed- and vegetable oils are naturally high in Omega-6 (see image below).

Omega 3 in foods

[Notice how little Omega-3 these common dietary sources of fat contain. And even though the ALA from the flax seeds is very high, the human body doesn’t convert it fully. Sorry vegetarians!]

Yes.

I know it’s bad.

You know it’s bad.

Everyone who has half a brain knows that most of what’s sold in the average supermarket is unhealthy grub for fatsos. But…

Here’s Something You Might Not Know, That I Personally Find to Be Quite Shocking:

In the last 24 years (since 1992), the amount of children born with autism has increased TWENTY-FIVE FOLD.

The number of children born with ADHD and similar disorders has also increased significantly (although I don’t remember the statistics).

Crazy, right?

At the same time, the average person’s Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio has gone through the roof. Many researchers believe this is why it’s happening.

Hunter-gatherers had an Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio of 2:1. This means their cells are made up of twice as much Omega-6 as Omega-3.

Today, the average person in the western world has an Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio around 10-20:1.

Indians and Asians often have Omega-6/Omega-3 ratios of 40:1 (!)

The diet in those countries is made up of rice, seed- and vegetable oils, processed foods, snacks all of which are very high in Omega-6. Then add to the problem that many of these countries have a culinary tradition of adding heaps of sugar to everything they eat and drink.

They’re killing their bodies from the inside.

I am in Thailand now, and let me tell you: I can’t even buy me some instant coffee around here. Everything contains sugar and additives! Shit. . . 5

No wonder many guys from these countries are depressed and complain that they can’t build proper physiques. Their hormones are fucked.

But, let us assume that. . .

You’re an Average Person from the Western World

That means you have 10-20 times as much Omega-6 fatty acids as you have Omega-3 fatty acids in your body. What do you think that does to your cells over a longer period of time?

The condition your cells are in is about as “natural” and “healthy” as going through decades of sedentary work inside a neon-lit cubicle is.

M-m-m-MISMATCHED!

I told you that the average person’s Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio is worsening. Well, here’s another statistic you might find interesting:

The increase in Omega-6 stored as body fat over ~50 years in Americans’ bodies:

lineolic acid in US body fat low omega 3

[Pictured: Linoleic acid (LA) = Common Omega-6 fatty acid.]

Let’s go a little bit deeper on Omega-6.

Omega-6 is Pro-Inflammatory While Omega-3 is Neutral

When you have excessive Omega-6 levels your body gets overly inflamed.

When you have unnecessary inflammation you get sick more often and you don’t recover as quickly as you should.

Omega-6 is not bad per se, but when you start having TEN TIMES as much of it as the human body evolved for, then it gets bad. Your cells become unnatural and imbalanced.

You can get excessive Omega-6 levels in two ways:

  1. By eating too many bad foods (that I mentioned earlier) or by,
  2. Not getting enough Omega-3 in your diet.

For the average person, it is typically both.

The Simplest Way to Lower Your Excessive Omega-6 Levels is by Consuming More Omega-3

You see, Omega-6 competes with Omega-3 inside the body, and vice versa (they share the same conversion enzymes).

Like obesity, when you have excessive Omega-6 levels it becomes self-sustaining!

This might be the most important thing in this article, because:

This means that when you finally get down to a balanced ratio of around 2:1, it will act as a protective measure against regaining the previous, excessive levels of Omega-6.

It’s similar to how being muscular and having low body fat gives you a protective moat against obesity.

Hence, you want to get down to a healthy Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio early in life, so that you can put it on autopilot and not have to worry about it later.

You can get enough Omega-3 in your body by eating fish (albeit not the industrially grown sort) every day. But who does that? At least 9/10 people will need a high quality Omega-3 supplement.

The Top 4 Criteria of the Best Omega-3 Supplements:

There are three sorts of commonly occurring Omega-3 supplements:

  1. Natural fish oil,
  2. marine Omega-3,
  3. and concentrates.

Supplement companies are legally required to test their products, after which they are classified as one of these official standards of quality.

Natural fish oil is the best and most demanding standard.

Marine Omega-3 is also good, but it tends to be rare and very expensive.

Concentrates you should just avoid. The body does not deal with them well, and there are many types of concentrates of different qualities. (The Omega-3 I took for 8 years with minimal effect was a low-grade concentrate.)

The best Omega-3 supplements fulfill these 4 criteria:

  1. It is classified as a natural fish oil.
  2. It has high levels of DHA and EPA, mixed with some potent antioxidant.
  3. It is preferably in liquid form, so that you can be 100 % sure of its freshness and high quality. (Unfortunately, only a few companies sell liquid Omega-3, because it’s hard and costly to mass-produce.)
  4. If you have a supplement that fulfills #1-2, but cannot find a liquid version and have to settle for capsules, make sure the capsule is not made of etylester. It is a material that has been found to melt plastic Styrofoam cups, so you don’t want to put that in your stomach on a regular basis.

Do I have any specific recommendation?

Yes.

For those who live in Europe, I recommend ArcticMed Premium Omega-3.

It fulfills all the criteria nicely:

  1. It is a natural fish oil.
  2. It has high DHA + EPA, mixed with the potent polyphenol olive oil 6 as its antioxidant.
  3. It is in liquid form.

And it’s also certified by the organization Friend of the Sea for only using fish from environmentally-friendly fishing zones.

AM logo

I have taken it for about 6 months now and think it’s very good.

The fatty acid blood test I did was also from ArcticMed.

I will tell you more about my experience soon.

 citron - fin bild

Recommendations for U.S and International Readers?

Sorry, can’t recommend what I haven’t tried or experimented with.

But, just look for the 4 criteria listed above when you buy a fish oil. The more criteria it matches, the higher quality. This may be reflected in the price, but not necessarily.

For example, ArcticMed’s fish oil is probably the best in Europe (I don’t know about the rest of the world), but there are many that cost more and are of lower quality.

So, back to what I was saying in the beginning of the article…

After I quit taking those shitty Omega-3 capsule concentrates I’d been taking for 8 years, I did the blood test by ArcticMed, recommended to me by Mikael Syding.

Then I took ArcticMed Premium Omega-3 every day for little over three months. My daily dosage during that period was 12 ml (about the size of a large table spoon).

[Fast forward to ~100 days later]

I did my second fatty acid blood test to see what had changed.

This time my results were much better.

My Omega-3 Index had increased to 9.91% and my Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio was now finally at a healthy, balanced 2.37.

Hehe! Almost optimal.

2Arcticmed test results essentials

[Green, green, green, green, green!]

Arcticmed test results 1 Arcticmed test results 2 Arcticmed test results 3 Arcticmed test results 4 Arcticmed test results 5 

Not surprisingly, during this period I experienced notable improvements in my health and fitness:

  • After just 2 weeks of taking 12ml of ArcticMed Premium Omega-3 I stopped being tired in the morning.
  • After a month I noticed significant gains in the gym, faster recovery, and a slight improvement in mood (more stable).
  • After 45 days I noticed that my concentration had improved, and that I was able to do an EXTRA 1-1,5 hours of work per day!

It has been observed that people who balance their Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio rarely get sick. However, broccoli and spinach is probably just as important for that, because I haven’t been sick for 4 years.

Comparison of Key Metrics:

I made a quick before-after overview of the most important changes.

Have a look:

arcticmed omega 3 fatty acid test summary

[Click the image for improved resolution.]

Keep in mind I had better starting values than the average person.

Yet, my results are pretty normal for a person who takes ArcticMed Omega-3 Premium for 100 days, even if they have had a worse starting point.

#1 Key Takeaway:

To balance your Omega-6 to Omega-3 levels and achieve an optimal ratio around 2:1 is analogous to getting ripped, because. . .

. . . just as getting ripped means you’ll burn fat effortlessly and stay lean automatically, a balanced O-6/O-3 ratio is also self-sustaining. So you want to fix this ASAP.

Health problems are better prevented than they are fought or treated.

Only a numbnuts smokes a pack of cigarettes each day, and then, 15 years later, complains when he gets lung cancer, “I’m so unlucky! What did I do to deserve this!?”

And every intelligent person thinks: “Yeah, right. You brought it on yourself. And my taxpayer money shouldn’t fund your stupid indulgence.”

In 20-30 years people will think the exact same way about the people who are still stupid enough to eat the Standard American Diet (SAD), instead of cutting back on unhealthy fats and fixing their Omega-3 levels.

Non-nerdy Summary:

You should be worried about not having enough Omega-3 in your body. You should first do a fatty acid analysis blood test to get definitive proof. When you have the results, it will be easier for you to diagnose and solve current health problems–or to prevent future ones.

If you–like most people–have a bad Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio (10-20:1) then know that it’s not going to kill in the short-term, but it can lead to a bunch of long-term health issues. If you’ve had a bad ratio for a long time, you may already have some problem because of that. But it will likely clear up quickly if you take a good fish oil for 100 days.

When I started taking the high quality liquid Omega-3 supplement from ArcticMed every day I got more energy (at least 1 extra hour per day) and markedly less “morning tiredness”.

Do the Following:

  1. Start worrying about how healthy your cell membranes are.
  2. Buy a fatty acid blood test. If you live in Europe, get the test I did from ArcticMed.
  3. Buy a high quality fish oil with the four criteria I mentioned. If you live in Europe, buy ArcticMed Omega-3 Premium.
  4. Take this fish oil every day for about 100 days and you should see a noticeable improvement in productivity and life quality. Especially if you have hormonal issues or concentration problems.
  5. Do another test to make sure it’s not just a placebo effect.

Affiliate Disclaimer:

The links to ArcticMed are affiliate-based. However, I do not make any money upon your purchase. Instead, I get free fish oil and exclusive access to the limited edition olive oil when it is in stock. Which is just as good as money, because I buy those things consistently anyway.

So, when you buy, you are supporting my consumption of these supplements.

Photo credit: 1, 2

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  1.  (unnecessary the days I eat avocado, broccoli, spinach, etc)

  2. But it is only available sometimes. 

  3. I think I took 6 capsules per day. I should have taken around 15.

  4.   Lineoloic acid, which is one of the main Omega-6  fatty acids.

  5. Fortunately, I’ve found a way to get top notch paleo food delivered straight to my Fortress every day.

  6. the same one I showed you in the beginning of the post after mentioning my supplements.

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Comments

  1. I have been taking what I think is a good fish oil for a few months now, but I have not done any diagnostic tests to see the results. Thanks for the idea, like you say it is important to test and see if the improvement is real or merely imaginary. I will look up a test now. It’s too bad I don’t live in Europe.

  2. Thanks for explaining this Ludvig. I have not know about this for my entire life so I probably don’t have very good levels.

    I also don’t live in Europe right now. Does anyone else take a high quality fish oil or have done a blood test they were happy with? If so I am open to suggestions and recommendations. Thanks!

    • By Albert Chon’s comment below, in case you did not see this:

      “I’ve been using Carlson’s liquid fish oil since which seems to be pretty good but doesn’t have antioxidants. “

  3. This article left me with more questions than anything. My main concern, however, is that Start Gaining Momentum has become so slow to load, or scroll, or anything else, that is almost impossible for me to read. If this was because of SGM’s bandwidth, I suppose other people would have the same problem, and if it was my own bandwidth, I would have the same problem with other sites. What gives?

    • I’m not sure, it scrolls/loads fine for me bro

    • Told this to Ludvig a long time ago. He’s on shitty hosting with an even shitter implementation of shitty WordPress. To add to that, he’s got 100’s of plugins loaded in the backend with hi-res imagery *and* masses of comments. I’ve not even looked at DB ping times. The fix is to redo the lot — the theme is hacked to fuck and WP install is poor, running on sweatshop hosting. He’d be better migrating to higher-capacity hosting and either installing WP from fresh (with properly formatted theme) OR migrating to a more streamlined CMS.

      • Maybe it’s a combination of excessive baggage, low bandwidth (I’m on satellite here), and an older computer. But SGM worked fine for me two years ago with this same computer, and most other sites work well enough. The few that are really draggy (none are nearly as bad as SGM) seem to have lots of stuff going on, like weather.com which hosts lots of dubious third party crap.

        Anyway I have a partial workaround. If I save the page as html and open it with Libre Office Writer instead of Firefox, it works just fine and doesn’t even look too distorted; even the links are preserved. I can write a post in a plaintext editor and then all I have to is use the Reply link, wait five minutes for the site to open in Firefox, and paste the reply in.

      • Abgrund,
        That saddens me much to hear. But I highly appreciate your technological craftiness and consistent contributions (of insightful comments).

    • I don’t experience this. Nor do two people I just asked to check it out.

      If anyone else gets it, please do reply.

  4. Ah…
    Another thing to put on the to – do list. This is one of those things I really should prioritize for obvious logical reasons, but I keep putting it off. I have taken Gymgrossistens Omega3 for over 1 year now since reading similar research as you put forth here. I am not sure of its quality but I have not had any noticeable effects.

    P.S
    Såg Sydings artikel om detta förut men hade mycket för mig. Överväger att göra ett test nu.

  5. Polybius says:

    Nice man, on it now! Thanks for sharing useful stuff.

    On another note: you mention you now have good paleo food coming to you home delivered — how does that work?
    I am also in Thailand and like you say they put all kinds of poisonous stuff in the food and drink to make it taste good. I wonder how much of it is culinary tradition vs how much is just ignorance of health mixed with short – term gratification…….

    . I think they will have a serious health crisis in a few decades, like, multiple entire age groups . Just imagine when they retire and The state has to pay gor (do they officially retire in Asian countries? And does the government pay health care? I dunno. Haha still tho.. scary thought)

  6. Nice post here, Ludvig!

    I’ve been living in SE Asia for about 1.5 yrs, and I’ve had a complete revolution on my health from the inside.

    I had no idea about some of this stuff a year ago, and hardly even knew about EFAs. Seeing the locals dump heaps of sugar and eat the veggie oils has been one eye-opening experience in an area which I formerly had none.

    Since then, I’ve started to cook my own food, veggies in coco oil, extra virgin olive oil, and eat tons more fish. No processed crap and upped the superfoods/greens. I noticed beef was messing up my skin, because of the mentioned imbalance in O6:O3 due to THEIR diets. We must watch out what OUR food is eating too. :)

    Thanks for the write-up, it seems like this can be my next step of fatty acid optimization!

    – Evan

    • Yo Evan,

      ” Seeing the locals dump heaps of sugar and eat the veggie oils has been one eye-opening experience in an area which I formerly had none.”

      –Yeah.
      The big issue–for most people–is that the change is very slow and incremental. Might take years until it reaches a point of negative critical mass at which ailments occur.

      Good job on stepping up your diet.

      Let me know in a few months if a high quality fish oil improves your health, mate.

  7. The blood test is genius – totally need to do that. I don’t get the point with olive oil other than that it contains polphenols. Is it like Apple / coconut vinegar? A.K.A one of these things that’s good for the digestion?

    • I am not an olive oil master, but I can tell you that:

      1) Olive oil (when it is high quality–see #2) contains lots of polyphenols (antioxidants). This is good to fight off inflammation, among other positive things.

      2) Extra virgin olive oil (which ArcticMed’s limited edition is) is becoming harder to come by. Lots of it is scammy and corrupt. Consumers are getting screwed over big time. Look up 60 min Agromafia.

  8. Lol at your page for commenters. That Napoleon image is brilliant and funny.

  9. Do I have low Omega-3 levels? Yes I think so… thanks for teaching me this

  10. Hei Ludvig,
    this is the first time I write and I really appreciate all the articles you wrote; thank you very much for that.

    When reading the new article about the Omega6 vs Omega3 it sounded very interesting.

    However, there is one thing that came to my mind:
    Did you do an independent blood test? Because if the test is done via the company who sells the products, it might be a hedge to do another test to ensure the results match.
    Dont get me wrong, I am sure it is a good product, but I always prefer to double-check the results before I take products on a regular basis for my body and rely like Taleb on things which are tested on a longer time-frame.

    All the best,
    Alex

    • What sort of products do you take that are tested on a longer time-frame? Can you give an example or recommendation?

    • Hello Alex,

      Both tests were done by ArcticMed. However, ArcticMed does not do the test directly. They act as an intermediary to OmegaMetrix, which, according to the owner of ArcticMed (who is quite knowledgeable on these matters), is the #1 lab in Europe for these things.
      http://www.omegametrix.eu/main.html

      That being said, I think your principle is a good one.

  11. Good point on this – should invest more into omega-3 oil!

    I don’t have any loading issues with the site.

    How does your daily diet look like at the moment Ludvig – Could you give an overview of the meals you eat in a day? I’m doubting my approach at this point.

    • Hey Simon,

      Good to hear re the site.

      My daily diet for the past 3 years has been quite similar to the one I wrote about here, back in the day:
      http://www.startgainingmomentum.com/what-do-i-eat-and-why/

      Except I’ve refined it a bit more, as per 80/20.

      _______

      For the last 2 months I have been traveling extensively, and I will probably continue to do this for a while longer. It is harder to maintain a proper diet and to do consistent exercise whilst doing this. Therefore, I often opt more for a “satisfying” approach rather than a “maximizing” approach.
      http://www.wisebrain.org/media/Papers/maximizing.pdf

      In Thailand it’s tricky to find good food, so I am happy that SGM reader Miha Zupan (who probably won’t read this comment) helped me find some healthy stuff:
      https://www.instagram.com/p/BCSSrzTu6ny/?taken-by=ludvigsunstrom

      I am also happy to have found Athletic Greens (an expensive but very high quality supplement which is awesome if you travel a lot) and Paleo Robbie–the paleo home-delivery service (in Bangkok).
      __________

      That being said, here’s what my optimal standard diet looks like:
      *Coffee in the morning, ca 2-3 hours after waking up.
      * 1-2 meals per day
      * Eggs, broccoli, spinach (with everything I eat)
      *Some meat
      *Some other vegetables
      * Omega-3 (if I don’t eat good fish that day)
      * High polyphenol olive oil

      • Great thoughts – thanks for quick response!

        I’m also in favor of satisfying/optimizing over maximizing. Health shouldn’t go at an expense of other life areas. There’s a scientific paper on that! nice :D

        Why are you traveling so much? I mostly don’t see the practical benefits of doing so in increasing life quality (maybe variety/getting out of homeostasis, but then again opportunity cost).

        I like your approach to nutrition; simple & practical. Do you count sweet potatoes as vegetables (any carbs or full keto?)

        I’m kinda turned off from supplements; I’ve tried multivitamin, omega 3 caps, XCT oil, modafinil, Vit D, adrafinil & didn’t notice any changes. Don’t you think it’s hard to accurately define the effects of new supplement (taking into account all the variables)?

        Think I’ll be aiming for this (weight loss & energy);

        – Coffee (Haven’t done this in a looong time, but I believe it’s major player in cognitive function)
        – Meat/fish, eggs, broccoli/spinach/other + coconut oil
        – Meat/fish, eggs, broccoli/spinach/other & sweet potato + coconut oil
        – Sunday fast

        Questions questions questions

        Textwall

  12. In an attempt to clear up my inbox, I recently unsubscribed to 100s of newsletter.. I only kept 2- yours and the one from entrepreneur.com..

    Thank you for delivering such insightful and great articles! Each is a true gem with so many takeaways!

    How do you accomplish so much? Would you mind sharing your complete daily routine?

    • That’s really cool to hear, Jon!

      “How do you accomplish so much?”

      –I don’t really feel that I do. I always think I do not do enough.

      But to give a more practical answer, I think it has to do with:
      1) Synergy (most of my life is a synergistic system by now)
      2) Parkison’s law (if you want something done you give it to a busy person)
      3) Having systems, processes and habits in place to automate things or ensure a decent level of consistent output (will write much more about this in the Ultimate Commonplace System).

      To share my daily routine at this point would not provide value. It differs a lot each week. The only consistent parts right now are working out, reading/studying, and meditating.

  13. mr SNAKE says:

    I need to fix my Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio. It probably sucks. But I don’t live in Europe :(

    Anyone who has found an equally superior fish oil or fatty acid blood test in U.S? Or someone except Ludvig who has gone through this transition of balancing Omega-3 levels and can share their experience?

  14. Great blog, Ludvig. Thanks for writing it.

    For you and anyone else who’s interested in further elaboration of the nerdy analyses on this subject, here’s an excellent followup post:

    https://proteinpower.com/drmike/2016/02/03/will-the-new-dietary-guidelines-fatten-us-even-more/

    This is probably the best overview I’ve found of the precise mechanisms by which intake of the wrong fatty acids, specifically PUFA, can induce insulin resistance independently of other variables such as omega-3 intake, current body weight, etc. I think he does a good job summarizing it in a way that does not require advanced biochemical knowledge to follow.

    As you can see, carbs + PUFA is a complete metabolic disaster; the PUFAs keep our absurdly high blood sugars from dropping fast enough. Yet the majority of modern convenience food is nothing but carbs + PUFA.

    The big takeaway from this article, in terms of actionable information: if you’re serious about optimizing your fatty acid intake, you CANNOT eat restaurant food. I’ve spent a lot of time in the kitchen of a big fancy restaurant with food that was outstanding from the perspective of taste, and almost from the perspective of quality as well — except the type of fat we used. It was indeed Canola oil on every shelf. The irony, of course, is that every other ingredient they used was of outstanding quality – the best pastured meats, local organic vegetables, etc. But I’d almost rather have non-organic stuff served with better fats.

    I’ve also actually worked on occasion for an institution with big industrial kitchens, and it’s the same situation. Cook everything yourself.

    Also, because the consensus on multivitamins seems to be that they are either poorly absorbed or dosed too high, I’m curious to know which multi you use.

  15. Ludvig, hur och var gjorde du detta hälsotestet? Jag vill också göra detta, och liknande.

  16. Albert Chon says:

    I’ve tried contacting Arctic Med to see if they would ship to the US but to no avail. Perhaps as an affiliate (who speaks Swedish) you could inspire them to expand their potential customer base?

    I’ve been using Carlson’s liquid fish oil since which seems to be pretty good but doesn’t have antioxidants. So one tip to prevent the formation of oxidized fats in your fish oil is to store it it the fridge.

    Thanks for the recommendation for the blood work!

    • You are welcome, Albert.

      I will talk to CEO of ArcticMed about this sometime soon, at a time appropriate to us both. Thank you for the suggestion.

    • The problem would likely be regulations. The EU has different regulations on food and supplements, though the US often has less standards. You might be in luck. I know I would LOVE to purchase this in Canada.

      I have begun eating salmon daily. I prefer getting these things without supplementation…though SOME supplementation is good for counteracting the effects of low levels in fish.

      In the end you have to work with what you have. I do not have the spare $40+ to invest in supplements if high quality each month. My solution is eating fish and supplements of an affordable quality, which means I have to eat LOTS of them.

      • If you plan on eating lots of salmon, you might want to investigate the mercury content thereof. As a predator fish, salmon is relatively high in mercury.

    • Albert and Shawn – if you are still interested in testing and haven’t found one yet you can purchase this same test from OmegaQuant.com in both Canada and the US. OmegaQuant and OmegaMetrix run the same test and methodology and do proficiency testing with each other multiple times per year to make sure their results continue to align. All of this can be found in the FAQ on both labs websites.

  17. srikanth says:

    Great article Ludvig. Really insightful. Could you also specify the optimal doses for DHA and EPA? The prescribed oil is unavailable here and I’m looking at other options.
    thank you

    • Thanks, srikanth,
      Based on my studies, you want 2-3 grams of *total* Omega-3s per day. But it also depends on assimilation (like how many antioxidants you consume per day).

      If you are a regular fish-eater, I think you want around 200g per day, I think. I could be wrong. Please do a Google cross-check.

      • Yes, Ludvig is correct on this. The fillets I eat are 110g and contain between 0.7g and 1g. Eating two per day roughly equals 2g.

        You have to check the contents on the packaging. Supplements are more straight forward…but can be tricky(listing 1,000mg but only 100mg is OMEGA3 OIL.)

  18. The arctic med website doesn’t appear to have a translate to English function. Does that mean the results will be sent in Swedish? If so will probably have to look elsewhere…

  19. Actually, a good way to get natural Omega-3 is to eat a lot more fish and seafood, especially if they were caught in the wild. Something that I have been trying to eat more of is wild salmon.

    Also have a look at the Japanese diet. They have the lowest Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio in the world. Also the Eskimos before the 20th century, actually had a reverse ratio, where they had more Omega-3s than Omega-6s in their diet, since it contained a lot of fish and seafood.

  20. Härligt! Provar produkten i länken nu, inte märkt någon större skillnad av den jag använt nu de senaste månaderna så ska bli intressant.

  21. Is there any chance you and Mikael start doing podcast in english? It would def bring lots of new audience

  22. Hej Ludvig.

    Hur och när tar du artic med?
    Tar du en sked av det och bara sväljer eller blandar du det med något?

    • Hej Gustaf,
      Jag brukar ta det på morgonen (om jag inte vet att jag kommer att äta fisk under dagen). Jag brukar ta en matsked (ca 10ml) på morgonen annars (jag blandar inte med något). Detta får mig inte att bryta min fasta–om det skulle göra det skulle jag istället inta oljan senare på dagen innan en måltid.

  23. Steven says:

    Ludvig have you seen this study about the results of East African paleo diet indicating they had a 2.26-17.0 g/d omega-3 intake?

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20860883

  24. Have you read this article? Ray peat is a contrarian in the health and nutrition scene, I would encourage you to try out his ideas before dismissing him.

    http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/fishoil.shtml

    An easy way to start is to track your daily pulse and temperature readings,

    http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/hypothyroidism.shtml
    http://www.functionalps.com/blog/2012/11/19/temperature-and-pulse-basics-monthly-log/

  25. Do you have any thoughts on krill oil? Some are marketing it as a superior source of omega 3s to traditional fish oil.

  26. Hi Ludvig,

    very interesting article – will do the test very soon.

    One question: you mention that after an “intervention” of 100 days omega3-supplementation that the body will ->self-sustain<- its omega6/3 ratio.

    How would that work?

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