Getting really in depth with fats


As I’ve gotten into DIY soylent (though I haven’t yet successfully created a recipe I really enjoyed drinking), I’ve found that seemingly the most complicated part of the job is fats, and particularly ratio of fats. What I’ve gathered so far, both from here and other parts of the internet, is that your ratio of saturated fats to monounsaturated fats to polyunsaturated fats ought to be about 1:2:1. Ideally your Omega 3:6 ratio would be 1:1, but with the amount of polyunsaturated fats the previously mentioned ratio requires, that would result in about 8g omega 3 a day, which could be potentially hazardous due to its blood thinning and anti-clotting properties, so maybe more like 1:3 or 1:4 would be optimal.

But these things aren’t what I am wondering about; as I research fats more and more, another question has arisen that I haven’t found an answer to. Saturated fat is not a single kind of fat, but a group of fats, 14:0, 15:0, 16:0, 18:0 etc. the same is true of mono and polyunsaturated fats. I am wondering, is there an ideal ratio of these more specific fat molecules? are some of them just inherently better or worse than the others, such that all of your monounsaturated ought to come from, for example, 16:1 and 20:1, rather than 18:1? or do they make no difference, and if all of your fats (within a certain group, saturated, mono, or poly) came from just one of them would you be just as healthy as an even mixture of the lot? Perhaps this research hasn’t been done yet, but if it has, could someone either link me to it or explain or both?


tl:dr version: should we care about how much of each specific kind of mono, poly, and saturated fat we get (16:1, 18:0, etc) or simply the amount of each larger group of fats?


I don’t want to get into a holy war about fats but I will offer a few observations.

If your aim is to avoid coronary artery disease you would do well to avoid saturated fats. Peer-reviewed esearch by Ornish, Esselstyn, and others substantiates this recommendation. You could be genetically endowed to be immune to the risks associated with a high fat diet, but … Do you feel lucky?

Unsaturated and omega fats are considered heart friendly, but are still easily converted into body fat by a factor of 23 x Carbohydrates.

Chloresterol intake doees not raise serum chloresterol but is is still associated with CAD.

My own personal view is that you can get by with WAY less fat than official Soylent. My diy is 12% fat and my comprehensive blood panel is completely normal. My lipid panel is excellent. That said, I saw a lipid panel from a poster who was on official Soylent who had a better choleesterol/HDL ratio than mine. So, YMMV!


I pretty much agree with you there… but that doesn’t really answer my question.


Because consuming a specific ratio of omega 6 and omega 3 is more healthy than just consuming PUFA’s in general, i think a similar ratio applying to individual fats within the MUFA and saturated fat groups exists too… I think there is a specific healthy ratio of fats within monounsaturates and within saturates too. And probably between the three major groups as well. We just havent found it yet.


I’ve read that the saturated fat in dark chocolate has a neutral affect on cholesterol.


At this point, I believe that ratios only have a strong influence in the EFAs - the Essential Fatty Acids, i.e., the Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids. These are the only fats that the body cannot make for itself.

The body can make all the other fats that it needs/uses. So if you get a little less of this fat or that fat, and the body needs it, the body can make it. In fact, if the body needs more fat than you eat overall, it can make it… and if you overeat carbs and protein, the body will produce and store fat.

I haven’t read strong evidence favoring particular fat ratios apart from EFAs (within typical/reasonable ranges), although we have a lot of evidence about the harm of certain types of fat when eaten in excess - and the term ‘excess’ in this sense is better defined relative to the overall calorie intake, not relative to the other fats consumed.