All fats are not created equal! There is no better example of this than the extremely beneficial fat found in fish known as Omega-3 fatty acids. While you may have heard the term omega-3 being used in reference to healthy eating, you may not comprehend just how big the health benefits can be. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish contain DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) which our bodies do not make naturally so they must be ingested either through our diet or in supplement form. This type of fat has shown evidence of lowering the risk of heart disease, depression, dementia, and arthritis. Let’s look further at the benefits of this “good fat” as a regular part of our healthy diet through eating delicious fish meals including the following fish: Anchovies, Bluefish, Herring, Mackerel, Salmon (wild has more omega-3s than farmed), Sardines, Sturgeon, Lake trout, and Tuna.
- Good for the Heart – Omega-3 fatty acids help your heart in several ways. They curb inflammation in the blood vessels, at high doses they make abnormal heart rhythms less likely and lower your level of blood fats called triglycerides.
- Prevention of Stroke – Recent studies have shown that omega-3 can curb plaque buildup inside blood vessels, helping with blood flow. So they may help prevent stroke caused by clots or a blocked artery. Be sure to discuss omega-3 amounts with your doctor before taking high doses as bleeding may also be associated with that higher dose.
- Good for Joints – Joint pain and stiffness especially in patients with rheumatoid arthritis may be lessened through the anti-inflammatory characteristics of omega-3.
- Mental Health Benefits – Omega-3 is not a treatment for depression but countries with diets high in omega-3 have much lower depression rates than comparatively similar countries.