We have updated our food guidance to further reduce the amount of Linoleic Acid (LA) consumed through the recommended diet.
What is LA? LA is a omega-6 polyunsaturated fat (PUF) predominately from grains/seeds such as soybean. LA is normally low in traditional diets and high in modern manufactured foods. It is also high in animals fed a diet of grains through intensive farming.
Why reduce LA? Studies have demonstrated that elevated LA directly promotes obesity and damages the liver. While traditional diets had similar levels of omega-3 and omega-6; modern diets have hugely increased omega-6 consumption, disrupting metabolic processes.
What does this mean? To further lower LA in our diet we need to avoid products from animals fed a diet high in LA. Generally this will be animals fed a grain-based diet such as pork, poultry and dairy animals. For example, fat from grain-fed farmed pork and poultry contains around 10% LA. You should seek free-range (naturally fed) sources for your pork, poultry and dairy consumption. This is not really new advice – just an additional reason to avoid intensively farmed animal foods.
If you have followed our advice, you have already removed the primary source of omega-6 PUF from your diet when you avoided vegetable (seed) oils and anything cooked in these oils. This advice emphasises the removal of a secondary source of these oils and fats from your diet.
Our bodies need a small amount of omega-6 fats as well as omega-3 fats and the current evidence supports the requirement to keep them roughly in a 1:1 ratio. Reducing the obvious sources of linoleic acid will help us get closer to a balanced intake but LA will always be present in other foods that we eat, so you need not worry that you will be insufficient in LA.