There are just so many omega-3s popping out in the supermarkets these days, especially since Omega-3’s are now universally known as good sources of fat. Food products such as peanut butter, margarine and granola bars all claim to have “heart-healthy omega-3s,” but the truth is you can’t actually find omega-3 in them.
For many years, health experts have studied the benefits of consuming foods that contain good sources of fat like omega-3 fatty acids. It can help lower the risks of heart diseases, fight diabetes and help beat depression. Just recently, the University of Illinois conducted a study which states that omega-3 deficiency can cause infertility in males.
There are lots of reasons why people need to have adequate levels of omega-3s, which is why companies are injecting them into their food products. However, before taking that omega-3 fortified cereal on the grocery aisle, take a closer look at what manufacturers are actually putting into your food.
ALA – The Lesser Omega-3 (Not so good sources of fat!)
There are three different types of omega-3 fatty acids: EPA, DHA and ALA. EPA and DHA can be found in fish meat such as tuna and salmon, while ALA can be found in soybeans and flax seeds.
Most of the food products with omega-3s contain ALA because its sources are much cheaper than fish, according to Evelyn Tribole, R.D., author of The Ultimate Omega-3 Diet.
Tribole mentioned that ALA is almost ineffective compared with DHA and EPA. Consuming food products that contain ALA does not hurt, but does not help much. Why? Because ALA needs to be converted into DHA and EPA before the body can use it. One study from U.K.’s University of Surrey found out that converting ALA into DHA and EPA only happens in 0.1 percent of healthy men.
According to Professor Bruce Holub, Ph. D. of Canada’s University of Guelph, one has to take 27 one-gram capsules of ALA in order to receive adequate amount of EPA and DHA.
In order to find out what type of omega-3 is in your food, check out its nutrition label. If you find ingredients such as soybean oil and flaxseed, this means that the omega-3 fatty acid they injected is ALA. Fish ingredients such as anchovy, tilapia or sardines oil indicated that the food has DHA and EPA.
Daily Amount of Omega-3s
Experts say that healthy men need to get 200mg of DHA and 300mg of EPA on a daily basis. According to the American Heart Association, individuals with coronary heart disease need to take 1,000mg of DHA and EPA every day.
Every 2 tablespoons of Jif Creamy Peanut Butter with Omega 3 contains 32 mg of combined EPA and DHA. People with heart disease need to eat about 31 tablespoons of peanut butter (nearly two cups) each day to meet the daily omega-3 requirement. That amount equals a whopping 2, 969 calories.
Butter Is Not Better
Just recently, Dutch researchers studied 4, 800 patients with a history of heart attacks and found out that margarine enhanced with other omega-3 fatty acids had almost have no effects on preventing heart attacks.
What You Should Do
In order to get the right levels of omega-3 fatty acids, you should eat fatty fish such as salmon at least twice each week. If fish meat is not available, taking 200mg of DHA and 300mg of EPA supplements is highly recommended.
Nature’s Made Fish Oil 1200mg is the most recommended supplement to solve omega-3 deficiency problems and stay heart healthy.
Be sure your body is getting the right amount of Omega 3 Fatty acids – the good source of fat!