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Not all Omegas are Equal

We all hear how we need to eat more fish because it’s rich in Omega. What is Omega? Omega’s are all unsaturated fatty acids and you need all of them. Some are easy to get into your diet without really trying like Omega 6 and Omega 9. Omega-3 fatty acids take a more conscious effort. It’s important to get a 2:1 or 1:1 ratio of Omega-6 and 9 to Omega-3. Most people don’t get enough Omega-3 in their regular diet. The average American’s ratio is 20:1. As I have reached my 40’s, I am paying closer attention to my middle age nutrition and need to understand the differences.

Sources of Omega-6

  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Cereals
  • Oils-soybean, sunflower, corn, safflower, vegetables
  • Box foods

Sources of Omega-9

  • All animal and plants
  • Oils-olive, canola, peanut, safflower, sunflower
  • Avacados
  • Peanut butter
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

Sources of Omega-3

  • Cold water oily wild fish like Salmon, lake trout, whitefish, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines
  • Flax seed
  • Canola oil
  • Broccoli
  • Cantalope
  • Kidney bean
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Grape leaves
  • Chinese cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • walnuts

All sources of Omega-3 are not equal however. Omega-3 sources from fish contain EPA and DHA n-3 fatty acids which have the best health benefits. ALA sources of n-3 fatty acids still help to keep the ratio of other Omega’s equal but if you are looking for benefits of Omega-3 it’s best to get your Omega-3’s from fish sources.

For me salmon is the best source of Omega-3. I found out that it’s important to know where it comes from. Try to buy wild salmon. Farm raised salmon is only as good as what it’s fed. Wild salmon feeds on algae, sea plants and other fish. Wild fish have a diet high in Omega-3 which is why they are a better source. Be ware, you will pay more for farm raised salmon because there is a more limited supply and it’s known to be a better food source. Resources say you should have two servings a week of cold water fish that is listed above.

EPA and DHA type of n-3 fatty acids may have many, many benefits. There are more not listed. We see the importance of the list of benefits as we glide through healthy midlife

  • Improved Blood circulation
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Reduce blood triglyceride levels
  • Improved rheumatoid arthritis and joint pains
  • Improved cardiac arrhythmias
  • Improved depression
  • Anti-cancer effects for breast, colon and prostate cancer
  • Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Reduce risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Reduce hypertension
  • Reduce symptoms of ADHD
  • Lessen issues like dry itchy scalp and skin and brittle nails
  • Improve fatigue symptoms
  • Lower stress

The best way to get your Omega-3 is through food sources. If you aren’t getting it through food you can take fish oil capsules. It doesn’t absorb as well, however. If you decide to take a supplement make sure it contains EPA and DHA and consult your doctor to get the recommended dosage for you. I found a good article on WebMD that goes into more detail.

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