Omega-3 fatty acids are fats that belong to the polyunsaturated fatty acids family. Most people are absolutely convinced that all fats are dangerous to their health. Thus, they try to eliminate all fat from their diet- including most of the “good fats”. Unfortunately, omega-3 fatty acids are among the good fats that get cut.
Where do you get Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
Assuming you eat a carefully balanced diet, you have probably covered your recommended daily ration of Omega-3 and do not need supplements. But for those who can not change eating habits or for those that have health problems that preclude it (such as allergies to certain kinds of seafood, for example), supplements remain an option.
But what source of Omega-3 is most effective? According to some specialists fish oil is ideal. According to others, it is best found in vegetable oils (olive, canola, mustard …).
In the absence of a clear consensus among the experts, it is best to limit your dose of supplements (to not more than one gram per day) and the period of time that you self-administer the supplements to yourself (no more than three months per year) and watch your diet to get enough of the other essential vitamins like vitamin C, E, selenium and zinc.
A little chemistry lesson to better understand Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Depending on the chemical, fatty acids are divided into three families:
Saturated fatty acids, which are found mostly in animal fats (butter, cream cheese, meat). Consumed in large quantities, they increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Monounsaturated fatty acids, found in olive oil. They are designed to protect and prolong the life of the arteries.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids – present in canola oil, castor oil, nuts or soy and fatty fish, lettuce and flax seeds. Here we must distinguished between the subfamilies: Omega-3 and Omega-6. They each have their own specific properties.
The three main omega-3 fatty acids are:
- ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), which comes from plants
- EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and
- DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)
Fish Oil Dosage (how much omega 3 per day)
According to statistics, we consume about 0.4 g of omega-3 per day, although the optimum amount would be 2.4 g (daily ration for a man) and 2.2 g (a woman). The American Heart Association recommends two meals containing fish to support the cardiovascular system. A portion of 60-120 grams of salmon contains about 3 grams of essential fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential to your health. Not only do they contribute to the functioning of the cardiovascular system, but they may play an important role in preventing prostate cancer and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition, studies have suggested an important role for Omega-3 in the fight against depression and depressive states. These studies show that low levels of Omega-3 in your system can lead to increases in anxiety or panic and can significantly reduce any state of physical pleasure.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are indispensable to the human body. Since the body can not produce or synthesize the fatty acids it needs, it must be taken from food. Your diet is the essential key in your health.