Not All Fats Are Bad! Everything You Need To Know About Omega-3

Omega-3s are the rare healthy fats, yes they do exist, that lower the risk of heart disease, dementia, depression and arthritis.

What are Omega-3s? Healthy fats? What is this sorcery? Well they are no myth that’s for sure, healthy fats do in fact exist. They are not created by your body in any way, so you would have to intake them from different means.

Omega-3s are fatty acids that come in more than one form. Omega-3s found in fish are called DHAs and EPAs, and have higher health benefits than other Omega-3s. Another healthy variant is the ALA, found in oils, vegetables and walnuts.

Important to note: Omega-3 fatty acids help your heart in several ways. For one thing, they curb inflammation in the blood vessels and the rest of your body. At high doses they also make abnormal heart rhythms less likely and lower your level of triglycerides, also known as blood fats. Finally, they can slow plaque buildup.

Helps Your Heart

For people with heart disease, the American Health Organization recommends 1 gram a day of EPA plus DHA. As well as fish oil, whether consumed as a meal or as oil capsules.

In addition, Omega-3s have been proven to help the heart stabilize. They lower heart rate and help with the prevention of heart arthritis (abnormal heart rhythm).

As we previously mentioned they also help curb plaque buildup inside blood vessels, which in turn helps out with one’s blood flow. So it is safe to say that they may help in the preventing of a stroke caused by clots or blocked arteries. But if consumed too much they would help cause bleeding related strokes. So either way make sure you check with your doctor and don’t rely on Omega-3s if you’re having heart trouble.

Brain Benefits

Omega-3s have been shown to have some subtle effects on the brain, although their exact effects have yet to be scientifically proven. Countries that have low depression rates have been shown to eat a lot of Omega-3s in their diet. However, thus far Omega-3s have not been issued for depression treatment – while it is still possible they help with depression prevention. In either case, if you’re having trouble with depression talk to your local doctor.

Some studies show that Omega-3s help out with ADHD management. The fatty acids are important in brain development and function. However, Omega-3s might help the traditional ADHD treatment, but they do not replace it by any means.

There are many experimental studies when it comes to the usefulness of Omega-3s. One such study is related with Dementia, and prevention in general. While there is no concrete proof on whether Omega-3s help out with this heart-wrenching disease, the evidence is starting to pile up in its favor. Conclusive scientific consensus on the matter has not been reached yet.

Omega-3s and Fish

The best source for the fatty acids is fish. With some delivering higher doses than others. The top choices are salmon, herring, lake trout, sardines, tuna and others. The AHA recommends at least two servings a fish per week, or a serving of 3.5 ounces per week.

The tuna has been often referenced when talking about fish and Omega-3s. White tune, also known as albacore tuna, has more Omega-3s than any other tuna, however it also has the highest mercury contamination, so take that information with a grain of salt.

Due to the high amounts of Omega-3s found in fish, and the risen awareness when it comes to Omega-3 importance, the consumption of fish has been greatly increased over the past couple years. And for most people mercury is not a big health concern. But the FDA has this advice for young children and for women who plan on becoming pregnant, are pregnant, or are nursing:

  • Consume 8-12 ounces of fish per week, 2-3 times a week. Give kids age-appropriate portion sizes. Limit albacore tuna to 6 ounces per week at maximum.
  • Select fish with lower mercury amounts, such as salmon, shrimp, pollock, tuna (light canned), tilapia, catfish, and cod.
  • Avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Limit albacore tuna to no more than 6 ounces a week.
  • When eating local fish, check fish advisories or limit fish to 6 ounces for women and 1-3 ounces for children and do not eat fish for the rest of the week.