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Healthy Oils

It’s pretty common knowledge now that we should all eat more fish for the benefits provided by the oils in the water creatures, but there are a variety of oils and types that we should be getting, and that sometimes becomes the confusing part of all this for people. So, I just wanted to set the record straight on types of oils and sources of such. This way, you won’t be fooled into either eating the wrong food or taking the wrong supplements.

The best fish to eat are the cold-water type, such as herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines or tuna…white tuna is the best.

However, make sure you don’t go overboard with excessive quantities seven days a week. The toxins that can potentially build up in some of the larger cold-water fish can become potentially dangerous to humans if eaten consistently. This is true especially for tuna and swordfish (although swordfish, while not bad, isn’t as high in the good type of fish oils that are more concentrated in the others I mentioned above).

You can also get a good dose (perhaps 250-500 milligrams of combined omerga-3 fatty acid (oils) types called DHA and EPA. Amount of up to 1,000 mg seem fine to, but especially for people at risk of or have a history of heart disease. 

It’s important to make sure the fish oils contain both DHA and EPA. The total concentration of listed on the front of the bottle will almost always be higher than the actually amount of the good DHA and EPA acids. Also, you should get about two parts of DHA versus 1 part EPA. A two to one ratio is fine, but a little higher (more DHA versus EPA) is fine as well.

Krill oil supplements are much more expensive, but some early research suggest you only need about a third as much krill oil or supplements to equal the same amount of beneficial acids as the other types of fish or supplements.   By the way, krill are shrimp-like crustaceans that live in the ocean. They’re near the bottom of the food chain, often eaten by whales, seals, penguins and squid. Krill feed mainly on phytoplankton…microscopic organisms near the bottom of the ocean.

There’s also Algae-derived supplements that aren’t as expensive, but provide only the DHA type of oil.

Flaxseed and Walnut oils are also excellent sources of healthy oils. These, however, contain the plant version of omega-3 oils called ALA (Alpha-Linolenic Acid). These types of oils require conversions the body does to make them useful to our health. Research suggests these oils are most likely best as a support to the other oils we’ve been speaking of. However, all of the oils are essential for our good health.

I bet you didn’t realize it got so complicated so quickly. It really isn’t when put into use. All you have to do is eat more of the recommended fish (and/or take a supplement), and also eat more nuts, but especially walnuts with almonds a close behind number two.

 

By: George Elliott

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