Omega-3 Fatty Acid: A Follow Up

 

I received an email regarding last week’s post on Omega-3 Fatty Acids asking if it better to source Omega-3 from a capsule or fish.  The same reader also wanted to know how much fish is safe to consume given all the recent media attention surrounding mercury in fish.

While capsules and fish oil re certainly a legitimate way to get Omega-3, I would argue that obtaining it directly from fish is better because you eliminate processing of the fish oil and the expense associated with supplements.  Cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, tuna, herring, anchovies, and sardines are all good sources.  If you can eat fish twice a week you’ll get the Omega-3 required and if you’re worried about mercury try to purchase organic/wild fish.

In terms of supplements, you should be looking for the ratio of EPA to DHA – the higher the ratio of EPA the better.  The type I use is called is a fish oil called Lemon Flavour NutraSea HP which has a ratio of 3:1.  1 tsp has 1500 mg of EPA and 500 mg of DHA and comes from anchovies and sardines.  If the taste and texture of fish oil is too much for you to handle, don’t be a hero – go for the capsules!  Consult with your health care provider on how much you should be taking per day as too much fish oil can be dangerous for some people because it thins the blood.

On a final note, while I outlined fish oil as the best source of Omega-3 for your heart, other forms such as flaxseeds offer anti-inflammatory properties and shouldn’t be discounted in your diet.

If you are interested in fish recipes, I’ll be posting a special recipe profile tomorrow!

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4 thoughts on “Omega-3 Fatty Acid: A Follow Up

  1. mmm flaxseeds! Actually going to make a halvah this weekend. Hopefully will be able to bring to brunch on Sunday:) Going to ask if using fish sauce in my cooking is the same as taking Omega 3. I use a lot with the thai mango salads and curries and it’s from anchovies so I’m thinking it’s good:)

    • Hey Cathy! I did some research on the nutritional value of fish sauce and it looks if omega-3 exists it would be a very very very small amount (it’s listed on the label but there isn’t enough to actually have a value associated with it on the lable).

    • Hi Sharon! You can get omega 3 from a variety of sources (flaxseeds being one of them) but any non-fish oil sources will not have the exclusive type of EPA compound that protects the heart. I’ll do another post on regular omega-3’s which offer all the benefits of fish oil omega-3 (sans heart protecting properties).

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