By Dr. Rick Tague
Good Sources of Omega-3
In addition to supplements, there are great sources of Omega-3 fatty acids one can add to their diet. The best in providing DHA/EPA are the cold water fish such as salmon (wild), sardines, herring, mackerel, anchovies, black cod and bluefish. American diets are often times lacking in these foods and saturated with foods that increase levels of Omega-6 fatty acids (mainly, refined vegetable oils found in most snack foods, cookies, crackers and sweets). Soybean oil is used in fast foods and processed foods to such an extent that it is estimated that 20% of the calories in the American diet come from this source. Hormones constructed from the Omega-6 fatty acids tend to increase inflammation, blood clotting, and cell proliferation. Omega-3 fatty acids tend to decrease these functions.
In earlier days, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acid intake was more balanced. In today’s modern American diet, people are getting too much Omega-6 and not enough Omega-3. This imbalance is believed to contribute to obesity, depression, heart disease, dementia, dyslexia and hyperactivity, to name a few.
So, reduce your Omega-6 levels by cutting down on consumption of processed and fast foods, and vegetable oils such as corn, sunflower, soy and cottonseed. Increase Omega-3 levels by consuming Extra Virgin Olive Oil, more oily fish, walnuts, flax seed and look for Omega-3 fortified eggs.
Approximate Grams of Omega-3 in a 3 oz. serving of some popular fish: