If you read the news, you have probably heard of omegas and how they are good for your health and how they should come from safe sources. There’s DHA, EPA and ALA, 3 and 6... Feeling a little confused?
Don’t worry! This blog post is on it.
Focus of this blog is going to be on omega 3 as it’s more difficult to come by in the diet than the omega-6 and therefore needs a little bit more concentrating to get enough in. What you have probably heard is that the best source for omega 3 oily fish – but that does not mean that it’s the only source. Stay tuned!
What is omega 3
Omega-3 is a family of fats that are meaningful for wellbeing and come in different forms, such as ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) that cannot be made in the body so must be consumed in our diet. It has many vital functions and is needed to make other omega-3 fats in the body. ALA is mainly found in vegetable sources.
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) are long-chain fats that can be made from ALA by our bodies. These have the most direct health benefits. The process of making DHA and EPA from ALA is slow and only small amounts are formed, which makes consuming foods rich in these the best way to ensure sufficient intake of DHA and EPA. Oily fish has the highest levels of DHA and EPA and is therefore recommended as a staple in the diet (recommendation 1 time/week).
Omega-3’s can help to protect the body from heart disease. They can safeguard the heart by preventing irregular heartbeats, reducing the risk of clotting by making the blood less gluey, protecting the walls of the blood vessels from damage and help to improve the cholesterol balance of the blood by growing good cholesterol levels and reducing levels of bad cholesterol.
Where can I get them?
As mentioned above, oily fish is the best source of DHA and EPA but if you don’t include fish in your diet, there are still plenty of options to get omega-3 in your diet.
For non-fish source of omega-3’s, include the following foods in your diet:
Nuts and seeds (i.e. walnuts, peanuts, almonds and pumpkin seeds)
Soya and soya products (i.e. beans, milk and tofu)
Green leafy vegetables (i.e. spinach and kale)
Vegetable oils (i.e. rapeseed and linseed)
To keep your diet varied and balanced, include all types of the above-mentioned foods in your meals. By doing this you will be helping your body to stay as healthy as possible and safeguarding your heart!
Want to check how much Omega 3 is in your diet, book a Diet Analysis and find out.