Do you know omega 3 is an essential fatty acid? The body needs it, but it cannot produce the acid. You have to get it from your diet. If you’re not consuming enough, it could be because you’re overwhelmed with information—and misinformation. For example, is vegan omega 3 as effective as fish oil?
Here are some of the common misconceptions about omega 3:
- Omega 3 and omega 6 are the same
Both omega 3 and omega 6 are fatty acids that can help protect the heart. They may also help reduce low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) or bad cholesterol.
Excessive consumption of omega 6, however, may increase the production of pro-inflammatory compounds. Chronic inflammation can contribute to different diseases and obesity.
It doesn’t mean you should avoid omega 6 altogether, but you may have to balance it with omega 3. Experts suggest consuming more omega 3 and less omega 6.
- Fish oil is the only source of omega 3
One of the best ways to add omega 3 into your diet is eating fatty fish, such as wild-caught salmon. Fish is one of the excellent sources of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). That’s not the only option, however.
If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you can consume the likes of chia seeds that are rich in the fatty acid called alpha-linoeic acid (ALA).
The problem is the body has to convert ALA into DHA and EPA, and it’s not as efficient as you hope it to be. You need to consume lots of these plant-based sources to maximise omega 3.
What you can do is to take these plant-based sources as vegan omega 3 supplements.
Vegan omega 3 from Organic Turmeric, for instance, is usually marine algae. It may be more potent than the highly popular fish oil supplements.
First, the omega 3 that fish contains comes from these plants. These plants also do not accumulate toxins, like mercury, unlike fish. Some experts also believe marine algae is a more sustainable or environment-friendly choice than fish oil.
- The body can easily absorb omega 3
The bioavailability of omega 3 or the body’s ability to absorb and use the essential fatty acid can differ. Factors, such as their form, can affect it.