Fish oil is one of the most popular health supplements on the market today. The main benefits come from it’s high omega-3 fatty acid content. Omega-3’s are vital for your overall health.
Omega-6 vs. Omega-3
Essential fatty acids are divided into two families: omega-6 and omega-3. They are “essential” because you can only get them through your diet and supplementation. Your body cannot produce them on its own.
Although there are only very slight differences to distinguish the two groups of essential fatty acids from each other, studies have shown that the cause behind increasing cases of heart disease, hypertension or high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, premature aging and certain kinds of cancer is none other than an imbalanced intake of omega-6 and omega-3.
Omega-6 can be found in vegetable oils. This includes but is not limited to corn oil and soy oil, both of which contain high amounts of linoleic acid. Linoleic acid in small amounts is healthy. Consuming too much can pose health risks.
Omega-3 can be found naturally in fatty and oily fish such as salmon, tuna and halibut as well as walnut and flaxseed oils.
However, if you do not consume a lot of oily fish in your daily diet, a fish oil supplement could help you to get enough omega-3’s.
It’s important to note that fatty fish and fish oils contain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), fatty acids that have been proven to provide many benefits to the human body.
In the early 1970’s for example, a study on Greenland Eskimos revealed that one of the major reasons why they rarely suffer from heart disease is because of their high-fat diet (mainly composed of fish).
The two essential fatty acids, EPA and DHA, have also proven to be helpful in preventing and treating:
- Heart attacks
- Various forms of cancer
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Raynaud’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis.
What To Look For On The Label:
- Most major manufactures of fish oil remove mercury and other harmful pollutants. Check the label to make sure that it is purified fish oil.
- As previously mentioned, the most important omega-3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA. Check the label to see what types and amounts of omega-3 fatty acids the fish oil contains. Make sure it contains at least 50 percent of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Check the expiration date. Although fish oil contains a small amount of vitamin E to help preserve it, if you expose fish oil to air for a lengthy amount of time, it can spoil.
Fish oil can be found in any vitamin shop, grocery store, drug store or pharmacy, and of course online. However, not all supplements are created equal and in my opinion, it is always wise to go with a pharmaceutical-grade supplement as opposed to an over-the-counter suppelement for reasons such as FDA regulations and quality assurance tests.
Committed To Your Health,
Brian Donovan is a certified fitness and nutrition coach, and the founder of Online Fitness Coach, LLC – an online fitness program where clients get direct coaching and personally tailored training and nutrition plans. Coach Brian was voted Chicago’s “Best Personal Trainer” by Chicago Reader magazine, Best Of Chicago 2014 edition. He has been featured in magazines such as Muscle & Fitness, Chicago Reader, Voyage Chicago, and The PTDC as well various other health and fitness blogs.
P.S. Have you joined our FREE Facebook Group yet? Connect with others on the same journey as you. Inside of our community we debunk health and fitness myths, post free workouts, healthy recipes, and other useful tips for losing weight and increasing lean muscle.