Omega-3 fatty acids from cold-water fish
Essential fatty acids are needed by human body but they can not be formed in adequate amount from other substrates. The only way to get sufficient fatty acids is to choose proper foods. As an important member in this family, omega-3 fatty acids are more and more popularly recommended to modern people because of their contribution to eye health. This type of essential fatty acids is thought to maintain good blood flow, which is critical for enough oxygen and nutrients supplement to the eyes. Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats so that they can also reduce unhealthy cholesterol in the body.
Cold-water fishes are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids
Among various foods, cold-water fish is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids. The American Heart Association says that people should consume weekly at least two servings of cold-water fish. Salmon, mackerel, herring, sardine and tuna are acceptable. High intake of fish is thought to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, choosing “unpolluted” fish is also necessary. Some farmed fish may contain environmental toxins such as mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides.
Some other sources in addition to fish
Fish oil supplements offer same benefits as whole fish. These supplements can be preferred alternatives for people who don’t like eating fish. What’s more, fish oil is free of toxins. Flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, walnuts and dark green leafy vegetables can also be good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, but they are harder for the body’s absorption.
The amount of omega-6 fatty acids should be controlled
Omega-3 fatty acids are generally beneficial to body health. But this does not mean that acids in the same category are all helpful. For example, another type of essential fatty acids is omega-6 fatty acids, including linoleic acid, gamma-linolenic acid, and arachidonic acid. Sources of these acids include sunflower oil, corn oil, canola oil, safflower oil, certain seeds, meat and animal products. Since excess omega-6 fatty acids are harmful, you should replace cooking oils plentiful in omega-6 with olive oil, in order to lower omega-6 level.
Hydrogenated oil is dangerous for human body
Hydrogenated oils in processed foods and deep-dried foods contain much trans-fatty acids, which affect the body’s normal absorption of omega-3 fatty acids. These trans-fatty acids have altered structures and may bring potential diseases including cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and so on. Experts suggest that a healthy diet should avoid hydrogenated oils, margarine, fried foods and other foods containing trans-fats.