Here’s how to best meet your Omega-3 intake. By Adora Wong
Omega-3 fats are good for you. They do a lot for your body and brain, helping you enjoy optimal health.
Studies have shown that eating enough omega-3 can lead to better heart health, reduction in cancer risks and inflammation relief, amongst other benefits.
Because we’re unable to produce these fatty acids, we need to consume them from foods. Different types are available, and they’re commonly found in plant sources (eg: canola oil, soybean oil and flaxseeds) and fatty fishes (eg: sardines, salmon and mackerel).
Fish oil has also long been available in supplement form. It’s affordable, readily available, and pretty safe – an excellent quick fix. But is it as good as fish oil straight from the source?
“When we take fish oil supplements, we’re only getting a single type of nutrient and miss out on other beneficial ones,” says Ms Yuliana, a nutritionist at MyKenzen Nutrition Services.
“Aside from omega-3, fish are great sources of nutrients such as protein, D and B vitamins, selenium and iron.
Also, more isn’t always better when it comes to fish oil supplements. “They should be taken with precaution because [too much] omega-3 can pose risks on toxicity,” she adds
“The Health Promotion Board suggests that supplements may help, but will not replace, a healthy diet.”
With natural food forms the preferred choice, how much should we consume to meet our omega-3 needs? We should eat at least two serving of fish per week to meet those needs. One serving of fish is about 90g of fatty fish (sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring) OR one to two pieces of canned sardines.
If you’re vegetarian, you can meet those needs from DHA-rich algae or seaweed.
Here are some ways to ensure that you consume your recommended intake of omega-3.