Written by Erin Marty
There are many people who jump the stereotypical conclusion that all fats yield negative consequences on your health, like high blood cholesterol. Well, when considering fish and fish oil, rich in omega 3 fatty acids, this could not be further from the truth.
Along with other health benefits such as lending a helping hand with rheumatoid arthritis and possibly lowering blood pressure, omega 3 fatty acids contain ant-inflammatory abilities that may also aid in the reduction of triglyceride – fats in your blood that are typically associated with high cholesterol.
The oil in fish, according to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, is ranked on their scale as “effective” for reducing high amounts of triglycerides. This is significant, as high triglycerides have been linked with high cholesterol, which in turn, is linked with other health conditions such as heart disease. No wonder this miracle fat is often times referred to as “good” fat.
Researchers, according to the Medline Plus website, believe that though fish oil is not as effective as some medications, it can help to lower triglycerides by twenty to fifty percent. Omega 3 fatty acids and fish oil are also listed on Mayo Clinic’s “Top 5 Food to Lower Your Numbers.” This is mainly because these good fats have been known to help decrease LDL levels, also known as low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol.
Because we cannot produce it ourselves, as humans we have to consume foods that contain omega 3 fatty acids, not just for their benefits, but also because we depend on them for survival. Nuts, canola oil and flax seeds are also wonderful foods when it comes to omega 3 fatty acids. As stated before, these fatty acids are also rich in fish. Mayo Clinic lists the following fish as being the richest in omega 3 fatty acids: mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, salmon and halibut.
To actually benefit from omega 3 fish oil, the American Heart Association recommends that you consume at least two servings of fish every week. Be wary of certain fish high in harsh metals such as swordfish and king mackerel. Not a big fish eater? Fish oil supplements are also available over-the-counter.
Let’s face it, though; just eating fish alone isn’t going to to lower your cholesterol. Physicians advise not only the consumption of omega 3 fish oil and fish, but to alter your current lifestyle by adding plenty of exercise and a healthy diet to your daily routine.