What are Fish Oils ?
Fish oils come from fatty or oily fish, such as trout, mackerel, tuna, herring, sardines, and salmon. They contain omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins A and D. Although the best way to have a sufficient intake of fish oils is to eat fish twice a week, if you can’t manage that then fish oil supplements are your best bet. But With so many different brands to choose from, how can you identify what is the best fish oil supplement ?
Fish-oil and omega-3 supplements are popular because they are believed to have health benefits. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommend eating oily fish to promote heart health.
In 2012, a National Health Survey found that around 7.8 percent of adults in the United States (U.S.), or 18.8 million people, and 1.1 percent of children aged 4 to 17 years, had taken a fish oil supplement in the previous 30 days.
Supports Heart Health
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide (7Trusted Source).
Studies show that people who eat a lot of fish have much lower rates of heart disease (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).
Multiple risk factors for heart disease appear to be reduced by consumption of fish or fish oil. The benefits of fish oil for heart health include:
• Cholesterol levels: It can increase levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. However, it does not appear to reduce levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).
• Triglycerides: It can lower triglycerides by about 15–30% (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).
• Blood pressure: Even in small doses, it helps reduce blood pressure in people with elevated levels (19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source).
• Plaque: It may prevent the plaques that cause your arteries to harden, as well as make arterial plaques more stable and safer in those who already have them (22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source).
• Fatal arrhythmias: In people who are at risk, it may reduce fatal arrhythmia events. Arrhythmias are abnormal heart rhythms that can cause heart attacks in certain cases (25Trusted Source).
Although fish oil supplements can improve many of the risk factors for heart disease, there is no clear evidence that it can prevent heart attacks or strokes (26Trusted Source).
Benefits for many needs
Fish oil benefits your body in many ways. The whole-food Omegas (good fats) found in high quality fish oil products help support heart, brain, eye, and joint health, and support visual and cognitive development for babies when taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding
How to assess your fish oil supplement
As there many fish oil products on the market, you may ask yourself, which products give you the best quality ? Perhaps some might think ‘they’re all the same’ ? Well for one I can tell you that No, quality of products are not all the same and here’s what you need to look out for to identify what is the best fish oil supplement:
1- The quality of the fish The waters the fish are from determines the quality and purity of the fish oil. Are the fish oils extracted from wild fish ? Farmed fish ? Are the waters they are fished from clean waters with low levels of mercury and other impurities ?
2- How is the fish oil extracted ? Omega 3 fish oil is meant to be a dark golden orange colour, if it is light yellow, it is probably purified too much and lost most of it’s nutrients. Putting it simply, fish oil that needs to go through high-heat purification is most likely fish oil that contains impurities, one being mercury.
Fish oils that are extracted through cold press, have the best nutritional properties, provided that the source of the oil, the fish, are caught in clean waters. (Manufacturers normally supply test values of the fish oils showing the level of any impurities)
These are all factors to consider when choosing your fish oil supplement.
Below are 2 of the best fish oil supplements, are whole-food which are not to be confused with most fish oil supplements on the market. Then 3rd one is specifically for moms for added pre-natal and post-natal support.
Most people that take fish oil supplements have never tried the real stuff as more than 95% of fish oil marketed today is not whole food and wouldn’t pass the quality test.
Wild Alaskan Salmon The source of is from Wild Alaskan Salmon which is an ocean-friendly and sound choice, because it’s from pristine Alaskan waters that are home to one of the world’s most well-managed fishing programs. In fact, sustainable salmon fishing is state law in Alaska, and is enforced by Alaska Wildlife Troopers. Other types of oils may not put sustainability first, including forage fish oil from anchovies and sardines (an essential part of the marine food web that is thoughtlessly overfished), krill oil (vital food for larger marine animals), and farmed fish (which leads to water pollution and disease infestation).
New Chapter Wholemega Fish Oil Supplement and Naturelo – Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplement are both whole-food alternatives to heavily distilled fish oil pill that can isolate and reduce beneficial compounds. It’s made from 100% wild-caught Salmon, sustainably harvested from pure Alaskan waters. Cold Pressed New Chapter Wholemega Fish Oil Supplement has the healthy Omega-fatty acids you need for heart health and prenatal support. For better absorption, their fish oil is fresh-pressed to deliver a healthy balance of ‘Wholefood’ fats that the body recognizes as food. Their pure whole fish oil offers a full lineup of 17 whole Omegas, including the right types of Omega-3 fatty acids EPA & DHA.
Will be interested to know if there are similar or better products on the market, so please feel free to share in the comments section.