Omega-3s: What Types of Fish to Eat and Why
The terms “fish” and “Omega-3s” are used so often together that it may be easy to assume that all fish are high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Not the case. Actually, there are specific types of fish to eat if you’re looking to up your heart-supportive Omega-3 intake: cold-water, fatty fish.
Choose These Fish
The benefit of Omega-3 fatty acids in coronary heart disease was first explored through research into the health of Greenland Eskimos who consumed diets high in Omega-3 fatty acids from fish. Additional research also showed that consuming large quantities of highly polyunsaturated fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are abundant in fish, has coronary heart benefits. This may be through maintaining cholesterol and triglyceride levels already within a normal range.
If you’re looking to up your intake of Omega-3s, it’s important to choose the right types of fish. Which fish fit those criteria? Heart-healthy options include:
- Sablefish (“black cod”)
- Rainbow trout
- Albacore tuna
Why Cold-Water, Fatty Fish?
While all fish contain some Omega-3 (even if it is a small amount), the fatty fish that live in cold water tend to have the highest levels. That’s because their physiology, diet and environment encourage Omega-3 production in their flesh.
Here’s how it works: Algae makes Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA—the kind you want to eat. The small, shrimp-like crustacean krill eats the algae, and DHA and EPA accumulate in their bodies. Larger fish eat the krill and, as a result, accumulate EPA and DHA. Bigger fish eat those fish and accumulate the fatty acids…and up the chain it goes.
Prepping Heart-Healthy Fish
Most health organizations recommend eating fatty fish at least twice per week. Make sure you’re enjoying fatty, cold-water fish like salmon in a healthy way—grilled or baked, not fried, and cooked with nutritious seasonings like garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. For a tasty and easy recipe, try my “Kale Walnut Pesto Pasta with Salmon.”
Not Getting Enough Omega-3s from Fish? Consider a Supplement
If you’re not able to eat Omega-3 rich fish twice per week or are allergic to fish, supplementing your diet with a dietary supplement product containing Omega-3 fatty acids may help support your heart health. Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. One serving of Herbalifeline® provides 322 mg of EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids.
How do you make sure you’re getting plenty of Omega-3s?