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Everything about Omega-3

Anyone who has studied food and / or supplements has probably heard of Omega-3 . But what exactly is Omega-3? What does it do? In this blog we tell you everything about Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids!

What is Omega-3?

Omega-3 is a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The best known of these are alfolinolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

ALA is an essential fatty acid. Essential fatty acids are fats that your body cannot make itself, while your body needs them to function normally.

This means that you have to get these fatty acids through your diet. The other Omega-3 fatty acids can be produced by the body itself from ALA.

What Does Omega-3 Do?

Fats in your diet are a source of energy, vitamin A, vitamin D , vitamin E and essential fatty acids. In general, a ratio of 1: 1 Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids is recommended. That means you should consume as much Omega-3 as Omega-6.

However, people with a typical Western diet consume a lot more Omega-6 fatty acids than Omega-3 fatty acids. This varies in a ratio of 10: 1 to 30: 1 in favor of Omega-6 fatty acids.

How do you create a balance between Omega-3 and Omega-6?

Agencies such as the Netherlands Nutrition Center recommend a daily fat consumption of between 20 and 40% of your daily energy intake, of which less than 12 percent from polyunsaturated fat.

So someone who eats 2000 kcal per day should eat a maximum of 27 grams of polyunsaturated fat. 13.5 grams of this consists of Omega-3 fatty acids and 13.5 grams of Omega-6 fatty acids.

Common sources of Omega-6 fatty acids are sunflower oil, corn oil and vegetable margarine. To increase the percentage of Omega-3 in your diet, you can take the following products:

Fish

The Dutch Health Council recommends 450 mg of fish oil daily . American organizations such as the American Heart Association recommend slightly higher doses.

When we talk about fish oil, we actually mean two types of essential fatty acids, namely EPA and DHA. To reach an average daily consumption of 450 mg of fish oil, you need to eat fish about twice a week.

At least one of these should be fatty fish. It is important that this fish is naturally fat, and not because it has been fried! Examples of fatty fish are salmon, tuna and plaice.

The average Western European does not eat enough fish. Maybe you don't like fish, you don't have time to prepare it or you follow a plant-based diet. Fortunately, there are more ways to get enough Omega-3 fatty acids.

Fish oil capsules

Fish oil capsules are an easy way to get enough DHA and EPA. Pay close attention to the amount of DHA and EPA per capsule. Marinol Omega-3 capsules are an excellent choice.

The capsules can sometimes cause a fishy taste in your mouth. A good way to prevent this is to freeze the capsules or go for a flavored version.

Chia seeds, walnuts & linseed oil

These are all vegetable sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are a superfood and very popular. In addition to being a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids , Chia seeds are also high in fiber.

Contrary to what the name suggests, you can not bake with linseed oil . But linseed does contain a lot of magnesium, zinc and fiber. Walnuts are also a good and especially tasty source of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Conclusion

It is recommended to eat about the same amount of Omega-3 fatty acids as Omega-6 fatty acids. To achieve this 1: 1 ratio, you will likely need to consume less Omega-6 and more Omega-3.

Fish oil capsules are an effective and easy solution. Other options are plant-based sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, eating fish twice a week, of which at least one is fatty fish.

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