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!