Omega-3s are the healthy fats

Omega-3s are fats that our bodies require but cannot make, so we need to eat them. Since our bodies require them — much like vitamins — they are essential nutrients. Every body needs Omega-3. Most Americans do not consume enough Omega-3s, yet research documents that we live longer and healthier lives when we do.

Not all Omega-3 fats are alike. There are three main types of Omega-3s in our diet and each work differently in the body. For example, the plant-derived type of Omega-3 in flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts is called ALA (alpha linolenic acid). The other two types of Omega-3 are in fish, seafood, and Fish Oil and are called EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

EPA and DHA do the most good.

From head to toe, EPA and DHA Omega-3s work in cells to help direct, manage, and regulate crucial health processes. From supplying essential fats for developing infants, to supporting children’s growth and behavior, promoting strong hearts and minds and flexible joints in teens, athletes, and adults, and supporting clear vision and longevity among seniors, EPA and DHA are the good-for-you fats that we need to eat to reap the health benefits.

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In 2014, FDA revised their seafood intake recommendations to advise all pregnant women and young children to eat at least 8-12 ounces of fish every week. That’s at least 2 servings of fish every week. These revisions were made due to concerns that pregnant women and young children were not getting the EPA and DHA Omega-3 needed to support proper growth and child development.

  • FDA surveyed 1,000 pregnant mothers in the United States and found that over 20 percent of them had not eaten any fish in the previous month. Those who did eat fish ate far less than the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations; 50 percent ate less than 2 ounces a week.
  • Although many believe that the mercury content in fish is a major concern, the consequences of not getting enough Omega-3 is, in fact, a much larger and more serious health concern.
  • Research shows that the health benefits for mom and baby from getting enough Omega-3 is far more important than potential risks of trace environmental contaminants.
  • FDA continues to recommend that women who are pregnant and/or breastfeeding and young children avoid four key species of fish: tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico; shark; swordfish; and king mackerel
  • For mothers who are concerned about eating seafood, we offer Fish Oil supplements carefully purified to be safe from micro contaminants.
  • Eating 8 to 12 ounces of seafood per week when pregnant can improve baby’s IQ, cognitive development, and eye health. Babies from moms who ate seafood twice a week were observed to have greater IQ by 5.8 points, according to a study from the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Source: FDA News Release, 10th June 2014, “FDA and EPA Issue Draft Updated Advice for Fish Consumption”