Overview and Benefits of Omega-3 Fats
We’ve known for a while that omega-3 fats are good for our health, but they’re one of the two fatty acids we can’t make in our body (the other is omega-6 fatty acid).
The health benefits of different oils
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Sources of omega-3 fats
We can get omega-3 fats from a variety of sources.
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is contained in vegetable oils as well as in rapeseed and flaxseed / linseed oils.
- Other sources include hazelnuts, walnuts, and pecans, as well as some leafy green vegetables.
- Oily fish
Unfortunately, we only produce small amounts of these vital fats ourselves. So we need to find other sources to stay healthy. This is where fish come into play. Oily fish are a particularly good source of omega-3 fats.
A Guide to Healthy Fats
Ideally, we should be eating five ounces or 140 grams of cooked fish, and especially fatty fish, at least twice a week, suggests the British Dietetic Association. Salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines are especially good because they are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for your heart health.
“There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that adding more omega-3-rich foods to your diet is good for your health,” said Frankie Phillips, nutritionist and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association (BDA).
“This can, for example, lower your blood pressure and also prevent your platelets from clumping together. It can reduce inflammation in your body. If left untreated, inflammation can seriously affect the blood vessels that carry blood around your body and even cause stroke and heart problems, ”says Frankie Phillips.
“It’s always better to have whole foods in an omega-3 rich diet that includes oily fish like mackerel, sardine, and salmon,” says Frankie Phillips.
10 healthy reasons to eat more fish
Getting your omega-3 fatty acids straight from cooked fish, however, is not for everyone. The taste of cooked fish and the smell that can spread around your home after cooking can prevent people from eating fish at home on a regular basis. “Though canned fish like sardines in tomato sauce or canned mackerel chopped with lemon juice and soft cheese make great pie or sandwich filling,” says Frankie Philips.
Recipe: creamy sardines on toast
An alternative is to take your omega-3 in capsule form – these can be found at pharmacies and supermarkets (although you need to check the amount of omega-3 they contain).
Alternative sources of omega-3 for people who don’t like salmon
How do omega-3 fish oil supplements work?
If you can’t or don’t like to eat oily fish or other foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, you can take them in capsule form. You need to make sure that you are taking omega-3 supplements instead of cod liver oil, as these do not contain the high amounts of omega-3 fats and perform different functions.
Omega-3 fatty acids come from the fish’s body and help protect our health in a number of ways. According to Arthritis Research UK, they are powerful anti-inflammatory and can help reduce inflammation in our white blood cells. They also play a role in fighting inflammation in our joints.
Studies of the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids have produced mixed results. Some studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids can protect our health by lowering our blood pressure. They can also provide us with some protection from developing abnormal heart rhythms and reducing the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke.
(Cod or fish liver oil, as the name suggests, comes from fish liver and contains vitamin A and vitamin D. It’s not the same as omega-3 fatty acids).
What is inflammation?
How Much Omega-3 Fish Oil is Safe to Ingest?
British Dietetic Association guidelines recommend that we should all try to eat two servings of fish a week, and one of those servings should be oily fish like mackerel, salmon, or trout. If you don’t want to eat fish, you can take omega-3 supplements. Follow the directions on the packaging to make sure you are taking an appropriate amount each day.
If you are unsure which supplement to choose, carefully read the labels on the package before buying. If you are not sure, ask your pharmacist to explain the information to you. Make sure you buy omega-3 supplements that are high in EPA and DHA oils.
Are There Side Effects With Omega 3 Fish Oil?
Omega-3 fish oil supplements can cause side effects in some people. These can include minor side effects such as: B. a more fishy breath, and the dietary supplements that leave you with a more fishy-tasting aftertaste in your mouth. While these aren’t very pleasant, they shouldn’t prevent you from getting on with your daily life – and perhaps using breath fresheners to combat the effects.
However, they can also have more nasty side effects that make a bigger impact on your life. This could include disorders in your digestive system, such as: B. a restless stomach, which can also mean you have to stay near a toilet as your feces are softer than usual and can be unpredictable. However, this shouldn’t happen if you are taking the correct dose. If this happens, talk to your pharmacist or family doctor
Ingesting more than three grams of fish oil a day can cause bleeding. If you notice any bleeding from your rectum, see your GP. And if you already have a tendency to have an upset tummy and a rather unpredictable stool, it might be a good idea to discuss this with your GP before you start taking fish oil supplements.
How to deal with bad breath
Can I Get Prescription Omega-3 Fish Oil?
Until recently, we could have omega-3 fish oils on prescription. However, this has now come to an end, as have prescriptions for other items, including gluten-free products, some travel vaccines, and multivitamin supplements, as these are among the products and services that are now no longer funded by the NHS.
If this is likely to affect you, contact your pharmacist to see if they can suggest suitable alternatives to your prescription omega-3 fish oil capsules.
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