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Bottom line up front:
The American Heart Association recommends everyone eat fish two days per week to get fish oil/omega-3. If you do not like the taste of fish then fish oil/omega-3 supplements are an option.
What is it?
Omega-3 fatty acids are only derived from food. The body generally cannot make its own omega-3. Fish oil contains two omega-3s called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Some forms of omega-3 can be obtained from plants and most people get the majority of their omega-3 from plants in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). The body uses omega-3’s to build our cell walls and as a energy source for muscles.
What does that mean?
Our bodies need omega-3s to function properly. Our bodies are not very good at making it so we need to eat it. Fish based omega-3 (EPA, DHA) have the potential for better health outcomes compared to plant based omega-3 (ALA).
Why would you take it?
Lower triglycerides (a type of cholesterol that can cause plaques)
Reduce chance of heart attack and stroke
Lower blood pressure
Improve pain in rheumatoid arthritis
How much should I get?
Average: 1.0 to 1.5 grams per day, up to 3 grams per day
What happens if I don’t get enough?
Dry flaking skin called dermatitis.
What happens if I take in too much?
Too much fish oil can increase risk of bleeding problems.
What can I eat?
Some nuts contain a different type of omega-3 called ALA.
This is a supplement that your body needs. Most people get their omega-3s from plant based sources. Increasing fish based omega-3 likely has heart benefits. This can only be obtained by eating fish or taking a supplement. If you like fish eat it twice a week. This is something our house is working on improving.
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