Consider your overall diet
[10 Ways to Get Your Omega 3s Without a Pill]
algae extract. ALA, the short chain form, is found in plant sources like walnuts, flax seed, canola and soybean oil, and, to a lesser degree, green leafy vegetables. The body needs to convert the short chain version to a long chain version in order to make use of it but this conversion doesn't happen very rapidly, says Willett.
What fun would the quest for health be without a bit of disagreement? "The science is tricky to interpret," says Nestle. She argues that early humans evolved in an environment and on a diet that did not have an abundance of fish, yet they were fit enough to survive. "I think plant sources are highly underrated and that most of the fuss about omega 3s is about marketing, not health," Nestle says.
Fish Oil Supplements
You've heard plenty about the merits of omega 3 fatty acids, most notably how those healthful fats protect against heart problems. Does the source from which you get them make a difference? Omega 3s are considered essential fatty acids because the body requires them but cannot make them on its own. Thus, we need to forage the supermarket or the supplement aisle to ensure we get enough into our diets. Fatty fish like salmon and tuna are touted as optimal sources, while vegetarians often cite the omega 3 content of flax, walnuts, and soybean or canola oils. News has written about 11 easy ways to load up on omega 3s from food sources.) And supplements containing omega 3s derived from fish oil or algae are making a splash on Nike Lebron Ambassador
Not all omega 3s are the same. The three main forms are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha linolenic acid (ALA). EPA and DHA are considered long chain forms of omega 3 and are found in fish, fish oil supplements, and Nike Lebron 14 Black/White
Experts don't definitively know whether it's best to get our omega 3s from seafood sources or plant sources. "It is an unresolved question whether ALA provides the same benefit in preventing heart disease as does the very long chain form" of omega 3, says Nike Lebron 10 Elite Crimson Willett. But based on multiple rigorous clinical trials in heart patients, Kopecky is a believer in the combination of EPA and DHA and regularly prescribes it to patients with heart disease or risk factors like hypertension or high triglycerides. It's also reasonable for people without those risk factors to take 1,000 mg (or 1 gram) per day if they don't get much EPA and DHA from their diets, he says. When looking for a supplement, he says, "the issue is not so much omega 3 but EPA and DHA"; make sure the long chain omega 3s are in your supplements. Check the label for a 3 to 2 ratio of either 3 parts EPA to 2 parts DHA or vice versa (the research suggests that either ratio produces heart benefits, Kopecky says). He feels research suggesting that ALA carries the same heart health benefits is not as convincing.
take a broad look at what you eat. "Gulping down fish oil supplements after a 16 ounce steak is not the same as eating a moderate[ size] piece of well prepared salmon," Willett says. The health benefit of fish, he suggests, is probably due, at least in part, to the fact that it often replaces an alternative protein source: red meat, which takes a toll on cardiovascular health. The real issue to consider, says Willett, is if your diet is low in both fish sources of omega 3 (EPA and DHA) and plant sources (ALA). With a diet largely devoid of all types of omega 3, your heart health may be at risk.
Learn the omega 3 acronyms: EPA, DHA, and ALA
The possibilities are enough to leave a health conscious consumer confused. News discussed omega 3s with three experts: Stephen Kopecky, professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic; Marion Nestle, professor at New York University and Food Politics blogger; and Walter Willett, chair of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. Here's the expert take away:
[Which Fish Is the Best Fish? Consider Omega 3s, Sustainability, and Mercury]
Before popping a supplement, Nike Lebron Soldier 10 Gold Medal For Sale
Not everyone agrees on the effectiveness of ALA versus EPA and DHA
store shelves and health websites.
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