“Healthy fats” like omega-3 fatty acids may benefit the health of your heart. Lowering your triglycerides is a major advantage. Omega 3s come in a variety of forms, including DHA and EPA (found in seafood), and ALA. Additionally, fatty fish, flax seeds, and chia seeds are among the items that might help you increase the amount of omega-3s in your diet.
Types of omega-3 fatty acids
Saturated fat and unsaturated fat are the two primary fatty acid subtypes.
1. Unsaturated fat
Monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat are the next forms of unsaturated fat. Moreover, you frequently encounter these words on nutrition labels.
2. Saturated fat
There are no available spots for saturated fat. One empty space is present in monounsaturated fat. An open slot in polyunsaturated fat is many.
Because they raise your chance of developing ailments like heart disease and stroke, these fats are commonly referred to as “bad” or “unhealthy” fats.
Why are omega-3 fatty acids important?
All of your body’s cells benefit from these acids by performing as they should. However, they play a crucial role in your cell membranes by promoting connections between cells and assisting to create a shape. While essential to all of your cells, the cells in your eyes and brain contain a lot of omega-3s.
Omega-3 fatty acids also provide your body energy and promote the health of several bodily systems. Also, your endocrine and cardiovascular systems are two examples of them.
Which omega-3 fatty acids are some examples?
Omega-3 fatty acids come in three primary categories:
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid): Because it is found in fish, it is known as a “marine omega-3 fatty acid.”
DHA: DHA is a marine omega-3 fatty acid that is also present in fish.
Alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, is a kind of omega-3 fatty acid that is present in plants.
What advantages do omega-3 fatty acids have?
There are several possible advantages of these acids for your cardiovascular health. They assist in lowering your triglyceride levels, which is one major advantage. Hypertriglyceridemia, or having too many triglycerides in the blood, increases your risk of atherosclerosis, which in turn boosts your chance of heart disease and stroke.
Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain triglyceride levels in check. These acids may also benefit you by boosting your HDL cholesterol and bringing down your blood pressure.
According to certain research, omega-3s may reduce your risk of:
- A cardiovascular condition (CVD)
- If you have CVD, you will die
- Sudden demise brought on by an irregular heartbeat
- Clots of blood
In addition to heart health, omega-3s may reduce the risk of:
- A few types of cancer, such as breast cancer
- The conditions of dementia and Alzheimer’s
- Macular ageing and degeneration (AMD)
Are omega-3 fatty acids beneficial to health?
When you include omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, you may reduce your chance of developing cardiovascular disease. In general, choosing food sources over medications is preferable.
For some people, taking omega-3 nutritional supplements may be beneficial. However, it’s wise to use caution. It’s crucial to avoid self-prescription while using fish oil supplements.
Never take over-the-counter (OTC) supplements without first consulting a medical professional.
Overall, clinical studies on the advantages of omega-3 supplements have shown conflicting findings. While some studies indicate little benefit, others demonstrate that taking omega-3 supplements can help protect your heart. This could be brought on by different research methodologies (like dosage amounts, omega-3 formulations, and the patients enrolled in the study).
Best foods for omega-3 fatty acids
- Certain types of fish
- Ground flaxseed
What foods contain the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids?
The greatest source of these acids is fish.
The varieties of fish that can supplement your diet with these acids are listed below. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has supplied information on the nutrients for each species of fish mentioned, and the serving size for each is 3 ounces (oz). Even though certain varieties of fish have a negligible quantity of ALA, the list includes the total amount of DHA and EPA for consistency’s sake:
- Striped bass
- Rainbow trout
Different fish have different mercury concentrations. These are often fish species that predominantly consume other fish because their diet causes their tissues to collect mercury more quickly.
Polyunsaturated fats called omega-3 fatty acids play crucial roles in your body. You cannot create the necessary levels of omega-3s in your body. These acids are therefore important nutrients, meaning you must obtain them from your diet.