A common thing around here seems to be avoidance of polyunsaturated fatty acids. This is a pretty strong theme in Ray Peat's writing. My question is about how far this should go when applied to children.
Given that the brain contains a large amount of the essential fatty acids (something like 25% by weight I believe), is there a potential risk that a diet seeking to minimize PUFA's in the diet may cause impaired brain development in children by not providing enough for the development of brain cell membranes?
If you do have children, would you worry about the PUFA content of their diet being too low if they got the majority of their fats from pastured ruminants and coconut oil?
Thanks for your answers, y'all.
I don't think there is any need to try to complicate things. They are growing children with growing brains. They need to eat. Make sure they have plenty of animal proteins and a variety of garden type vegetables some nuts, some seeds, and some fruit available. Include safe starches like tubers as well. The rest will take care of it's self.
Essential Fatty Acid deficiency does exist. (Example: http://www.ajcn.org/content/53/5/1217.short) The infants in this study were fed a MCT-Oil based formula and became EFA deficient, yet these are very isolated circumstances.
An EFA deficiency also can be seen at the skin, as linoleic acid is a precursor for sebum, the skin/scalp would be dry and flaky. But as Andy already said, if you focus on whole foods there's nothing that could go wrong. Since coconut oil and ghee both have amounts of 2-4% PUFAs, I wouldn't take them as the only sources of fat. Koroneiki olive oil has PUFA amounts ranging from 5 to 10% (and lots of tocopherols).. just an idea.