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Food Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acid

Author:   Peter Sedesse MD

Omega-3 Fatty Acid functions in the body

The production of brain cells and manufacturing of vital hormones in the body is done through the use of Omega-3 fatty acid. Cholesterol levels in the blood stream are also lowered by Omega-3 fatty acid making it an effective, natural replacement for Lipitor and other prescription drugs. A few simple food substitutions can make it easy for most people to add Omega-3 fatty acid to the diet. Switching vegetable oil to one containing canola or soybean oil is the most important substitution. These healthy vegetable oils should have labels with Omega-3 clearly identified.

There are a few different forms of Omega-3 Fatty Acid

A list of foods containing Omega-3 fatty acid is below. It is useful to know that not all Omega-3 Fatty acids are identical and some differ slightly in chemical structure. However, the body is able to convert one form of Omega-3 to another in order to meet its needs even though the forms are not identical.

Food Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acid

The amount of Omega-3 fatty acid in the diet will be increased and cholesterol levels lowered by adding these foods to meal plans.

Vegetables – Low amounts of Omega-3 fatty acid are present in most green vegetables. Medium to high amounts can be found in: Brussel Sprouts, Kale, Spinach and other salad greens.

Oily Fish- Replace your normal meat such as beef with one of these types of fish once a week: Albacore tuna, sardines, lake trout, salmon, herring and mackerel. Commonly referred to as fatty fish or oily fish these fish contain fat that is good for the heart as well as overall health.

Vegetable Oils – a drastic difference can be made in the lowering of bad fats present in most vegetable oils and increase the good fats simply by changing the type of oil to Canola, Flaxseed or Soybean.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid and Cholesterol Levels

Omega-3 fatty acid is not as powerful as prescription medications when it comes to the removal of cholesterol from the bloodstream but they also do not have negative side effects. These fatty acids are also used for other things in addition to lowering cholesterol. Omega-3 and Omega-6 are both important and necessary for good health.

Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acid

The health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids supplements are well documented and they can be found in most nutrition stores. A large number of other nutrients are also found in foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids. When someone is truly concerned with overall healthy Omega-3 fatty acid should first be sought in the typical diet with the use of supplements being limited to when the foods containing Omega-3 fatty acid are not desirable at all. The Omega-6 fatty acid should be double the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids when a supplement is taken. A ratio of 2:1 has been shown to work best in studies related to optimizing cardiovascular health. The lowering of cholesterol levels is aided by the healthy fat known as Omega-3 fatty acid. Certain healthy vegetable oils such as soybean and canola and fish are among the easy to find foods containing this nutrient. A number of vegetables have Omega-3 fatty acid with higher amounts found in dark green leafy vegetables.

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