Why Omega-3 Sources Matter

Omega 3 Sources

Omega-3 sources are not all the same. In fact, you may not be getting everything that you need.

Getting Your Omega 3s

It may seem logical that fat is fat regardless of its source, but there’s more to the story when omega-3 fatty acids are involved.

While fatty fish like salmon and sardines are the most common sources of this essential fatty acid, you can also get it from the following:

  • Select nuts (like walnuts)
  • Select vegetables
  • Select fruits
  • Fortified foods

Fortified foods are those that state on the label that omega 3s were added. Orange juice is one product that is commonly seen with the additive.

Unfortunately, these products typically contain very little omega-3 fatty acid, so you would have to consume a lot of them on a daily basis in order to supply your body with adequate amounts of this nutrient.

You can eat fish two or three times a week to enjoy a satisfactory intake, but that’s assuming the fish is cooked in a manner that doesn’t destroy the omega-3 fatty acids and you consume at least one full serving multiple times a week.

The question then becomes which foods are the best and how do you prepare them.

Finally, you have the option of taking in omega-3 fatty acids through a supplement. Fish oil has been the most commonly used supplement for many years, but studies are showing that krill actually contain higher quality omega-3 oils.

There are many fish oil and krill oil supplements on the market, but they aren’t all equal. Some have a higher content of pure fish or krill oil while others include a lot of fillers. Others are sourced from higher-quality, safer fish and krill.

Selecting Supplements By Omega-3 Oil Sources

When selecting a supplement, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Long-chain amino acids known as EPA and DHA are ready for your body to ingest, so they’re what you should see included in a supplement.
  •  Short-chain amino acids, called ALA, come from non-meat sources and are good for vegetarians, but the body must convert them to long-chain form before fully absorbing and using them. This takes some time, so it’s not as efficient.
  • There’s no proof that EPA and DHA are better for your body than ALA, so it’s good to take a good supplement with EPA and DHA while eating fruits, vegetables, nuts and other whole vegetarian sources of ALA. This gives your body the best of all worlds.
  • Try to eat more seafood before you jump straight to a supplement. Whole foods are always the best way to nourish your body, but there are some good supplements on the market to back you up when needed.
  • When buying a supplement, look for a brand that uses fresh krill oil that’s processed in a sustainable, eco-friendly manner. You want the highest-quality fish processed correctly to ensure the highest quality end product. The best companies now have websites discussing the source for their fish and the processing procedures they employ.
  • Look for supplements that use Antarctic krill. This is the best water source for high-quality, healthy krill.

If you’re still on the fence between krill and fish oil supplements, consider one fact: krill oil doesn’t have the fish taste and smell that often comes with fish supplements.

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