Although fish oil and Omega-3 are synonyms, they don’t denote the same meaning. Every oil that originates from a marine source can be called fish oil. There is a difference in quality and in the source.
Omega 3s fatty acids provide numerous health benefits. EPA and DHA are the most common ones, and they can be found in fish sources. ALA (Alpha linoleic acid) can be found in plants, such as nuts and seeds. But, experts claim that the human body can’t make use of ALA as much as DHA and EPA.
Unfortunately, most of the people don’t get enough omega 3 fatty acids, although they are of an extreme importance for the health. But, before starting consuming fish oil or fish oil supplements, make sure you get them from a good source and high-quality fish oil types. The Medical Centre from the Marylend University proves that omega 3 fatty acids can be beneficial for:
- Lowering the risk of heart diseases and premature deaths
- Lowering the risk for diabetes
- Elimination of arthritis
- Lowering the risk of osteoporosis
- Reducing the symptoms of autoimmune diseases
- Prevention of anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder
- Improving the cognitive function
- Decreasing the risk for cancer
ALA can be found in walnuts, green veggies, and vegetable oils, whereas DHA and EPA can be found in fish. Our body transforms some ALA to EPA and DHA, but the process in not very effective. That’s why it’s extremely important to eat food which is rich in DHA and EPA. The nutrients they contain are extremely beneficial during pregnancy or nursing.
Omega-3 and Omega-6
Both of them are polyunsaturated fats because their fats have double bonds. We do not need big quantities of these fats, in general. Because of the fact that the body is not capable of producing enough amount of polyunsaturated fats, we need to include them into our diet.
Omega 6 fats is found in numerous processed foods, grains, and vegetable and soy oils. These might increase inflammation. On the other hand, omega 3 fats reduce inflammation. Thanks to their big presence in a lot of foods, it is easy for us to include them into our daily diet.
The best ratio of omega 6 fats and omega 3 is 1 to 1. The majority of us eat big amounts of omega 6 fats that make the ratio to 30 to 1. However, this is extremely unhealthy since large amounts of omega 6 fats provoke diseases and inflammation. Even if so, you can always change the ratio between both types of these fats: you can either lower the consumption of omega i fats or increase the consumption of omega 3.
The Source Matters a Lot
Omega 3 fats are the best when consumed through the food. In fact, there is a strong connection between reduced risk of premature death and heart disease with fish consumption. People consuming more fish have lower rates of premature deaths and heart disease in comparison to those who eat less fish. But, this does not apply to the supplements of fish oil.
Studies proved that fish oil reduces heart disease. On the other side, there are others which suggest that it might be harmful to the heart. Same people chose fish supplements because there are also studies that show they are great for the brain, and some oppose to this.
Source and Ratio of Fish Oil
This contradicting information indicates the following 3 things:
A genetic component to the need of fish oil
Insufficient differentiation of the quality of fish oil types
Avoiding taking into consideration the ratio between omega 3 and omega 6
This ratio is of an extreme importance for understanding omega 3. If you want to take advantage of its benefits to the fullest, take fish oil supplementation. Moreover, lower the omega 6 fats consumption. Avoid vegetable oil and margarine whenever possible since they are abundant in omega 6 fats.
Best source of fish oil?
Consumption of high-quality source of fatty fish is definitely the best source of omega 3 fatty acids.