Fats That Are Good For You? Yes!
Everyone is recommending Omega-3 fish oil these days. If you are on a low-fat diet you really need to learn about these healthy fats.
The White House has asked the USDA to update its Food Guide Pyramid to recommend “healthy fats” from fish and Fish Oil.
More and more doctors are recommending these good fats too.
The new guidelines from the American Heart Association have also been updated and now focus on omega 3 fish oil.
Many newspapers and magazines are reporting this good news. When the American Heart Association recently published their new recommendations, they sent out a press release saying people should take omega 3 fish oil. “Healthy people should eat omega-3 fatty acids from marine and plant sources to protect their hearts.”
It is good to see the media reporting this positive news and spreading the word about the benefits of healthy fish oil.
More women suffer from heart attacks than they do from breast cancer. Yet cardiovascular disease it is often thought of as a man’s health problem.
The fact is, women need to take care of their hearts, just as much or more so as men do. Eating fish and taking pure fish oil dietary supplements can help support heart health.
Omega-3 fish oil may also be good for your brain and mood.
The Washington Post ran a news story about how important it is to your heart and also your brain to get more omega-3 from fish oil and flaxseed oil.
A large portion of the brain is made up of fats. It appears that brain health and mood can be helped by consumption of more fats from fish.
More and more pregnant women are taking fish oil supplements. Scientists now believe that these healthy fats are beneficial to the brain development of a healthy baby while in the womb.
Pharmaceutical grade purified fish oil supplements may be a better choice than eating a lot of fish which may contain mercury or contaminants.
Dr. Andrew Stoll, M.D. has written a book about why omega 3 fats are important to mental health. Stoll is the director of the psychopharmacology research lab at Boston’s McLean Hospital and assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
In the book, Dr. Stoll suggests that restoring our body’s natural balance of omega-3 may help maintain brain health and alleviate (and prevent) many types of depression.
Of course, depression should never be treated without physician supervision. If you think you may be depressed, see your doctor right away.
For those healthy women wanting to optimize heart and brain health, fish oil supplements could be a good choice.
Sources of Omega-3
Marine sources of omega-3, DHA’s and EPA’s include fish oil and fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines.
Plant sources include flaxseed oil, ground flaxseed, breads and breakfast cereals containing flaxseed, and walnuts.
Eating fish is helpful. However the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that due to the pollution of our oceans, eating too much fish can put one at risk of ingesting troublesome levels of mercury or PCB toxins.
This is especially worrisome for pregnant women. If you are expecting, please be extra careful not to eat too much fish as it could harm your unborn baby. Ask your doctor before you add a lot of fish to your diet. Your doctor may recommend pharmaceutical grade fish oil pills instead.
Cooked fish is better than raw. Frequently eating raw seafood that might have come from contaminated waters could expose you to the Hepatitis A virus. Pregnant women should stay away from sushi.
Some doctors say that pregnant women should avoid flaxseed oil and/or flax seed supplements as they can have an effect upon estrogen and hormones.
If you are a postmenopausal stage of life then flax seed can be a good way to help you get more of the good fats in your daily diet, while also helping to balance your hormones.
However some bottled flax oils can go rancid after a while. Make sure your oils are fresh. Check the expiration date.
The better bottled flaxseed oils are cold pressed fresh every day and are unrefined and unfiltered. An easy way to add it to your diet is to take a tablespoon mixed into a yogurt, or a whey protein shake, twice a day.
Flaxseed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. On the other hand, fish oils are believed to contain much more DHA, so many people take fish oil instead of flax oil.
Omega-3 and Pregnancy
Pregnant women are often told to take fish oil capsules but must be careful to get the best quality, instead of cheap, generic stuff. The cheap fish oil may come from fish with contamination and may not be free of pollutants. Women should be careful about the types of fish and fish oil they consume when they are pregnant, nursing, or even when experiencing pregnancy symptoms.
Flaxseed oil does have omega-3 in it and is preferred by some people however some doctors say flaxseed oil should not be taken by pregnant women.
The reason is that flax seed, like soy or even more so, seems to have an effect on estrogen and hormones and might interfere with your body during pregnancy. Ask your doctor.
One study on this was: Brooks JD, Ward WE, Lewis JE, et al. Supplementation with flaxseed alters estrogen metabolism in postmenopausal women to a greater extent than does supplementation with an equal amount of soy. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;Feb, 79(2):318-325.
Also, flaxseed oil does not have as high an amount of DHA as fish oil, so fish oil is just better anyway at giving you the DHA you want.
Meanwhile, fish oil has been found in some studies to greatly support pregnancy and healthy baby development, and may even help prevent miscarriage. This is very, very important.
One such study was: Rossi E, Costa M., Fish oil derivatives as a prophylaxis of recurrent miscarriage associated with antiphospholipid antibodies (APL): a pilot study. Lupus 1993;2:319-23.
Conclusion: Pregnant women should talk to their doctors about avoiding flaxseed oil and also about taking the most pure fish oil pills on the market.
Our most highly recommended and trusted brand, that we found after evaluating dozens of different kinds, is from Omega 3 / DHA Fish Oil. Nothing else even comes close to its quality. And it is higher in beneficial nutrients so you get more for your money too.
If you want the best fish oil you should buy carefully-sourced fish oil, such as hoki fish oil capsules. And you should look for a top quality product that comes from healthy fish caught in pristine clean waters, then is quickly processed for purity and packaged under strict pharmaceutical conditions.
What you do not want is some cheap oil from a motley collection of “mystery fish” caught in the polluted waters of some industrialized area, that has sat in unrefrigerated tanker ships and trucks while it traveled some long distances in the heat, then was packaged in less than pharmaceutical conditions. Can you say “Burp?” Don’t go near that stuff.
Enough Omega-6 already
Some researchers now say that we get too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3. An estimated twenty percent of our calories now come from soybean oil, which provides omega-6. That is way more omega-6 than was in our diet just a few years ago.
Soybeans are the USA’s second largest cash crop and export. Soybean oil is in nearly every processed food, from loaves of bread to frozen dinners. Read the ingredient labels on the foods you eat and you will see soybean oil listed everywhere.
Although soybean oil is healthy and Omega-6 is very good for you — omega-6 competes with omega-3 in the body. We should have an equal amount of intake of both fats. But we are getting way too much omega-6 and not nearly enough omega-3.
Some researchers estimate we are getting 20 to 50 times more omega-6 as we are omega-3. We need to make an effort to consume much more omega-3 to balance out the extra omega-6 we are automatically getting so much of in our diets.
This means you probably do not need to take a combination EFA supplement containing both omega-6 and omega-3. You already get plenty of omega-6. Why take more omega-6 in that case? Don’t take a combination of 3 and 6. Try to scale back the omega-6 intake while you also add more omega-3 into your diet.
This news often upsets the people who sell omega-6 pills. Sorry people but we are just reporting the facts here.
Eating carefully selected fish once a week (unless pregnant) or adding fish oil pills to your diet are recommended by many experts as good ways to increase omega-3 intake.
Finding fresh fish that is free of mercury can be a gamble so we take the pure fish oil capsules recommended below.
Daily supplement capsules are a quick and easy way to get extra omega-3. Fish oil pills can be taken at breakfast, packed in your lunch and/or taken at dinner time.
Our personal favorite fish oil capsules are made by X-tend Life Natural Products in New Zealand. They are fanatical about the purity of their fish oil, and they exert control over the entire process from the moment the fish is caught until the pure oil is bottled and packaged.
If you want all the benefits of omega-3 fish oil without the worries… get the best fish oil and rest easy knowing you have the best.
After you see the love and care they put into their pure fish oil you will never look at other brands that blend all kinds of “mystery fish” oil the same way again. What kinds of fish are in the mystery fish oil pills? Where did the fish come from? How was it stored and transported and packaged? Why does it need to have so many preservatives added to it? It’s all a mystery. Very scary. No thanks.
Taking the right fish oil pills can give your body all kinds of health benefits. But taking the wrong kind, that may be rancid, could actually worsen your health by adding and causing oxidants and other problems.
Don’t take chances with your health. Get the very best quality, pharmaceutical grade pristine healthy fish oil from healthy hoki fish caught in cold, clean waters and processed at the source, under highly regulated, pharmaceutical grade conditions. This fish oil is so good it sets the world standard for quality.
Selected Medical References
Lemay A et al. “Flaxseed dietary supplement versus hormone replacement therapy in hypercholesterolemic menopausal women.” Obstet Gynecol, 100, 3:495-504, 2002.
American Heart Association Scientific Statement: Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease, #71-0241 Circulation. 2002;106: 2747-2757
American Heart Association Scientific Statement: AHA Dietary Guidelines: Revision 2000, #71-0193 Circulation. 2000;102:2284-2299; Stroke. 2000;31:2751-2766
Kris-Etherton PM, Harris WS. Appel LJ: Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Cardiovascular Disease. 2002; 106:2747-2757
Rossi E, Costa M. Fish oil derivatives as a prophylaxis of recurrent miscarriage associated with antiphospholipid antibodies (APL): a pilot study. Lupus 1993;2:319-23.
Hutchins AM et al. Flaxseed consumption influences endogenous hormone concentrations in postmenopausal women. Nutr Cancer, 39, 1:58-65, 2001.
Lucas EA et al. “Flaxseed improves lipid profile without altering biomarkers of bone metabolism in postmenopausal women.” Journal Clin Endocrinol Metab. 87(4):1527-32, 2002.
Caughey GE et al. “The effect on human tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin 1 beta production of diets enriched in n-3 fatty acids from vegetable oil or fish oil.” Am J Clin Nutr, 63, 1:116-22, 1996.
Ranich T et al. “Protective effects of dietary phytoestrogens in chronic renal disease.” J Ren Nutr, 11, 4:183-93, 2001.
Prasad K. “Secoisolariciresinol diglucoside from flaxseed delays the development of type 2 diabetes in Zucker rat.” Jour Lab Clin Med, 138, 1:32-9, 2001.
Prostaglandins Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids 69(4):237-243, 2003
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The statements herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Supplements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease. All information here is intended for general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and always consult your physician before starting any new supplement, diet or fitness regimen.