13 Mar

What the Fish? Separating Facts from Myths of Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids have garnered significant attention in recent years for their potential health benefits. Found predominantly in fish, these essential nutrients are believed to support heart health, brain function, and overall well-being. However, amidst the hype, there's also confusion surrounding omega-3, with myths and misconceptions abound. In this article, we'll dive into the facts and debunk the myths surrounding omega-3.

Understanding Omega-3:

Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of polyunsaturated fats crucial for various bodily functions. The primary types are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). While EPA and DHA are primarily found in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines, ALA is found in plant-based sources like flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.

Myth: All Omega-3 Sources Are Equal:

Fact: While both animal and plant-based sources contain omega-3 fatty acids, the types and amounts differ. Fatty fish provide EPA and DHA directly, which are more readily absorbed and utilized by the body compared to ALA found in plant sources. Therefore, incorporating fatty fish into your diet remains a superior way to obtain these essential nutrients.

Myth: Omega-3 Supplements Are Always Necessary:

Fact: While supplements can be beneficial for individuals with specific dietary restrictions or health conditions, they're not always necessary for everyone. Most people can meet their omega-3 needs through a balanced diet rich in fatty fish, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplementation regimen.

Myth: Omega-3s Are Only Good for Heart Health:

Fact: While omega-3 fatty acids are renowned for their heart-healthy properties, their benefits extend far beyond cardiovascular health. Research suggests that EPA and DHA play vital roles in brain development, cognitive function, and mood regulation. Additionally, they have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like arthritis and certain cancers.

Myth: Omega-3s Are Harmful Due to Contaminants in Fish:

Fact: While it's true that some fish may contain contaminants like mercury and PCBs, the benefits of omega-3s outweigh the risks for most people. Opting for fish low in mercury, such as salmon, trout, and haddock, and following recommended serving sizes can minimize exposure to contaminants while still reaping the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.

Myth: Cooking Destroys Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

Fact: While excessive heat can degrade omega-3 fatty acids, cooking methods like baking, grilling, and steaming are generally safe and preserve the nutrients in fish. To minimize nutrient loss, avoid deep-frying or prolonged exposure to high temperatures. Additionally, consuming raw fish in sushi or sashimi can provide omega-3s in their most natural form.


Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients with a myriad of health benefits, but separating facts from myths is crucial for making informed dietary choices. Incorporating fatty fish into your diet, along with plant-based sources, can help meet your omega-3 needs naturally. While supplements may be necessary for some individuals, consulting with a healthcare professional is advisable. By understanding the facts and dispelling myths, you can optimize your intake of omega-3 fatty acids for better overall health and well-being.

Learn more about our Omega 3 Smart Chew


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