How do you know which fish oil supplement to buy?
Are all fish oil supplements created equal? Don’t be so sure…
We all agree that both food quality AND food quantity are important, but why do we not ask the same question when it comes to supplements?
Do you really think the Walmart brand fish oil for $9 is good quality? I hope not…
What is fish oil anyway!?
Well, oil from a fish 😉
Fish oil is rich in 2 very important omega-3 fatty acids called DHA & EPA.
Did you know that DHA & EPA actually originate in algae? Algae is the base of the food chain for fish, which is why fish concentrate such a high number of these healthy fats. Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important for our bodies cardiovascular function, immune health, nervous system function, brain development, etc.
Have you ever heard of the omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio in our body?
Omega-3 fatty acids are the healthy fats found in olive oil, flax oil or ground flax, salmon, fish oil, nuts & seeds, etc. Omega-6 fatty acids are the not so healthy fats found in processed foods high in saturated fats, vegetable oils, foods with trans fats, etc. Our ancestors used to eat about a 1:1 omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio, but these days most Americans average closer to a 1:20 ratio! Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids compete for space in the cell membrane, this is why it is so important that we eat a healthy diet with a balanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids.
- 1-3 grams of EPA + DHA per day
- Source fish oil from a high quality source that doesn’t use primarily fish discards
- Herring, Mackerel, krill oil, and algae oil are all lower on the food chain, therefore less likely to accumulate environmental toxins
- Avoid cod liver oil, trans fats, and vegetable oils as these are higher in omega-6 fatty acids
- Avoid fish oil if you are on a blood thinner medication
At the end of the day, if we can focus on eating good quality whole foods in amounts that support our lifestyle then we shouldn’t have to worry about our EPA to DHA ratio too much. If you eat fish, try to incorporate a variety of good quality fish sources into your diet. If you are someone that does not eat fish then you might want to consider looking into a good quality fish oil supplement.
JUST LIKE NOT ALL FISH IS CREATED EQUAL, NOT ALL FISH OIL SUPPLEMENTS ARE CREATED EQUAL.
Just as you wouldn’t buy frozen fish from Walmart, please don’t waste your money on a low quality fish oil either. All of the big box retailers sell very low quality products. I would suggest a high quality brand like Thorne Research. Here is a link to all of there fish oil supplements, let me know if you have any specific questions!
As always, my team and I are here to help! If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Thank you for taking the time to read this article and I hope it added value to your life!
Helping you live your best life,