Nutrition Facts – Omega 3

I recently came across a useful website for anyone interested in the latest research on nutrition. It’s called ‘NutritionFacts.org‘.  

As a researcher by profession, I’m always keen to access the latest studies on whatever subject currently grabs my attention.  For the past 8 years (since Lil’ L was born), I’ve had a keen interest in nutrition. To keep up with the latest research, I’ve spent hours scouring the online scientific and medical journals.

So you can imagine how excited I was to discover that a certain Dr Greger, funded by The Jesse and Julie Rasch Foundation, is doing this for us. And even better, he’s publishing the findings in a bite-size, easy to understand format online. 🙂

Recently, I’ve been thinking about omega-3 and DHA.  As a vegetarian family, we mainly source our omega 3 from flaxseed (linseed), walnuts and hempseed. We tend to sprinkle ground flaxseed and chopped walnuts on our breakfast cereal.  We also mix walnut oil or hempseed oil into our main dinners. Lately, though, I’ve been wondering whether we should use flaxseed oil instead of the ground seed. Does the oil contain a more concentrated dose of nutrients? Over to Dr Greger…

 

Isn’t it incredible how much goodness is contained in those little flaxseeds!

I’ve noticed that chia seeds have been mentioned a lot lately as a good source of omega-3. I was wondering whether chia seeds have a higher nutritional value than flaxseed.  In less than 2 minutes, Dr Gregor had given me the answer:

 

He certainly puts some effort into livening up those videos! 😉 

Continuing on the subject of omega-3, I’ve read a few articles that have mentioned that the rate of conversion of omega-3 into EPA and DHA (which give protection against heart disease and ageing of the brain) varies from person to person. In one article, in particular, it stated that the rate of conversion was lower in males compared to females.

While our family has never taken supplements, I’m now debating whether to adopt a ‘belt and braces’ approach and give Lil’ L a marine-algae DHA supplement, just to make sure he gets adequate levels of DHA. These supplements are made of the marine algae from which fish get their DHA.

It makes sense (to me anyhow) to consume the DHA directly, rather than killing and eating the fish to get to their supply of DHA. Plus, the level of pollutants in fish these days is worringly high (thanks mainly to the humans that have accidentally polluted our seas). Mercury and petrochemical pollution is found in most fish nowadays and avoiding these pollutants is more important in infants, toddlers and children, as their growing cells are more sensitive to the damaging effects of toxic pollutants. Dr Furhmann et al have stated that fish is simply too polluted a food to rely on as a DHA source for children and they don’t recommend feeding young children fish in an attempt to supply them with their requirements of DHA.

These signs are popping up everywhere.

I probably will buy some DHA supplements for Lil’ L, but I’ll do a little bit more research before I ultimately make a decision.

I would love to know what your stance on DHA supplementation is.  Do you take supplements? Or do you simply try and get sufficient intake of Omega 3 through your diet?

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10 Comments

Filed under Nutrition

10 responses to “Nutrition Facts – Omega 3

  1. David Green

    I nearly nodded off but I’m glad I didn’t as the info was really useful for my family – I take the flaxseed oil but from now on will sprinkle the actual seed on muesli. 🙂

  2. great info, I try to eat fish at least once a week but I do also take supplements 🙂 love your blog btw have a great day Sharon

  3. I don’t take any supplements, but try to incorporate foods high in Omega-3’s into our diet (salmon is a definitely regular around here) – and I definitely try to find out where my fish is coming from!

  4. David Green

    Golden hempseed is half price at Holland & Barrett so I loaded up with a kilo of it. 🙂
    Also bought a pestle and mortar from the Kitchen Shop – nice cool marble one. I like marble – reminds me of India.
    Wifey (Marguerite) gently pointed out to me that putting the seeds in a bag and rolling them with a rolling pin or bashing them with a wooden hammer was more efficient and cheaper. ‘Ah no’, I replied – ‘I have to consider my pagan and shamanistic creds and use traditional methods’ . She then employed the traditional wooden mallet – ouch! LOL 🙂

    • LOL! If I was you, I’d ditch the mortar and pestle and embrace the modern times just this once…and buy an electric grinder (or use a coffee grinder). In a few seconds, you can grind a whole week’s worth of seeds. Are you seriously going to be mortaring and pestling every morning?? 😉

  5. We do indeed take supplements. No fish eaten at my house, but I have a hard time with getting my children to eat items that would contain adequate levels of DHA.
    Thank you so much for posting this information and I will be heading over to the website now.

  6. Hello Sharon!
    Thank you SO much for helping spread the word about NutritionFacts.org. Please get connected and stay in touch–there’s a new video posted every day!
    – visit/bookmark the site – http://www.NutritionFacts.org/
    – subscribe to the daily video and blog feed -http://nutritionfacts.org/feed/blended/
    – like and follow on facebook – http://facebook.com/NutritionFacts.org
    – follow on twitter – http://twitter.com/nutrition_facts
    And please help me spread the word by continuing to pass these links along! Thanks again for your support!

    In health,
    Michael Greger, M.D.

    • Thanks for stopping by my blog Michael. I honestly love your website!It’s saving me so much time as I no longer need to hunt through the journals to answer my nutritional queries (and I have a lot of them!) I’ve got one now about eggs… I’ll get hopping over to your site and see if you’ve got the answer 🙂

  7. Thanks for linking to this post–it is some great information and I have bookmarked Dr. Greger’s site too! Nice work!

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