Q: So I’ve been taking Fish Oil Daily, but I don’t understand why or if its even worth it?
A: This is a common concern we hear from clients. Fish Oil and/or Krill Oil is widely marketed as the number one supplement to take but not many of us know exactly why and the difference it can make. Let us explain further....
Fats are an essential part to our daily nutrition, and as I’m sure you are aware there are healthy fats and unhealthy fats. Healthy fats, such as avocado, olive oil, almonds, walnuts, seeds, flaxseed oil, can be defined even further to a category of high Omega-3 fats.
Firstly What is Omega-3?
Omega 3’s are a polyunsaturated fat, these three fats are called ALA (derived from plant oils), EPA & DHA (found in marine oils such as fish or krill).
As we age, our body’s ability to synthesize these omega-3‘s decline, specifically EPA & DHA. Hence a quality source of Omega 3 from EPA & DHA
Omega-6 is naturally abundant in our diet and we need to reduce, if not eliminate, our intake of these fats found in margarine, canola oil, sunflower oil to name a few. Omega-6 is also available in nuts, seeds and avocados, great to be consumed in moderation.
What are the benefits of Omega-3?
EPA and DHA help protect against, reducing the risk of, inflammation related conditions such as obesity, diabetes, over training, insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.
Different Fish or Krill oils will have varied ratios of EPA to DHA which can target specific conditions, just contact us to find out more.
I eat Fish a couple of times a week, isn’t that enough?
Multiple research has concluded that the ideal ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 in our diet is 1:4, that is 1 gram of omega 3 to every 4 grams of omega 6 in our daily nutrition.
When we consider that a health conscious individual is averaging a ratio of 1:11, it is imperative to include Omega-3 in each and every meal to help keep the balance.
Are you curious to what an “unhealthy” individuals omega 3:6 ratio looks like? An average of 1:25. Ouch.
Further to this, the ideal ratio of Omega 3:6 for brain function is 1:1, which is why omega 3 deficiencies have been linked to depression and mood disorders. Increasing your Omega-3 will go a long way towards mood stabilization.
Where to get your most bang for buck Omega-3? Flax oil? Fish oil? Krill oil?
Okay, so thats a lot of information and science. You now know why you need Omega-3 and the next step is figuring how to balance out your omega3:6 ratio for optimum health.
Firstly, simply supplementing with fish or krill oil will not suffice. You need to correct your daily nutrition in addition to supplementation. Here are some food ideas to increase your Omega-3, most of which can be sprinkled onto any of your meals for extra crunch and tasty goodness.
- Flaxseed Oil
- Salmon (Fillet or Smoked, please avoid tinned foods)
- Green vegetables
- Chia Seeds
Flaxseeds, what's the fuss?
“About 100 grams of flaxseeds will provide 35 grams of good oil (essential fats, lecithin and phytosterols), 26 grams of protein and 14 grams of fibre. Flaxseeds are the richest known source of ligans; molecules with anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer properties. They are also a rich source of mucilage, which is a special kind of fibre that acts as a natural laxative and protects against bowel cancer” - Dr Paul Cribb, Mp-body.com
In Summary, Omega-3 supplementation can help with Fat loss, moods, concentration, inflammation and lower your disease risk. However, if your daily nutrition is not meeting requirements of these healthy fats you may be doing your body an injustice by just taking a Fish or Krill oil supplement.
It is important to note that the quality of Fish Oil that you purchase will greatly impact the benefits you receive. Different manufactures collect their fish source from a variety of Oceanic conditions, with deep sea salt water being the best source. The price of your supplement will directly relate to its quality and the level of contaminants. The best way to ensure you are purchasing a good quality supplement, of any kind, is to purchase ‘Practitioner Only’ ranges, meaning they are prescribed by a professional. Much like needing to have script for certain medications at the pharmacy versus over the counter products.
Benatti P, Peluso G, Nicolai R, Calvani M. Polyunsaturated fatty acids: biochemical, nutritional and epigenetic properties. J Am Coll Nutr. 23(4):281-302, 2004
Five Ways Metagenics Fish Oils are surpassing the standards. 2012. Accessed 14th December 2013. www.metagenics.com.au/five-ways-metagenics-fish-oils-are-surpassing-standards
Gil, A. Polyunsaturated fatty acids and inflammatory diseases. Biomed Pharmacother, 56(8):388-96, 2002