Should You Get Your Omega-3 Fats from Supplements or Food?

Omega-3 fats can be obtained in two different ways, but which way is better?

omega 3 acids

It’s well known that Omega-3 fatty acids are ‘good fats’, and can be obtained from a variety of sources like fish, nuts, soy means, and dairy, but supplements like cod oil pills also promise the same results. Do they deliver, though?

Recent studies have shown that getting your Omega-3s from supplements like cod oil aren’t actually all that beneficial, and you are better off getting your daily requirement directly from food.

The Institute of Medicine has determined that an adequate daily amount of alpha linolenic Omega-3 fats (the kind you get from plants) is between 1.1 and 1.6g per day for adults. You can achieve this amount by eating roughly 1-2 tablespoons of soybeans, nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flax, or canola oil.

The International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids suggests 500 mg every day of EPA and DHA omega-3s (the kind you get from meat), an amount which changes to 200 mg/day for pregnant women. You can consume this amount with one serving of salmon (1200 mg).

READ MORE: Five Superfoods For Better Heart Health

A general rule is to eat three ounces of fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, or sardines) at least twice a week to keep your levels up, and add snacks like soybeans, walnuts, and dairy or meat products instead of turning to supplements.

If you insist on taking supplements, do your research and make sure you are using a quality product, information you can get by googling the International Fish Oil Standards Program (IFOS), and making sure your fish oil supplement is molecularly distilled.

If you are concerned about your Omega-3 levels, your doctor can measure the ratios in your red blood cells and set you on the right track.

 

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