Should You be Taking Fish Oil?

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By Lizzie Vasquez

Most of us try to stay away from anything associated with the word “fat.” But, did you know that some fats are essential to a healthy diet? Specifically, omega-3 fatty acids are a key element for normal growth and development. Studies have shown that these fatty acids can decrease the risk of high blood pressure and triglyceride (fat found in blood) levels.

However, according to an article from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the human body cannot make omega-3 fatty acids. So, how can we get them? Through supplements.

Fish oil is one of the most common supplements people have turned to for the benefits of omega-3s. Fish oil supplements contain both docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and may help with heart health. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that everyone eats cold-water fish at least twice a week. But, for those who do not like seafood or may be concerned with high mercury intake, fish oil supplements will do the trick.

Another way to get all the necessary omega-3 fatty acids, is by consuming flaxseed oil. This oil can be used in cooking or taken in pill form. Flaxseed contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and can help to lower cholesterol levels.