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Omega-3 Fatty Acids


Updated May 05, 2009

Salmon for Omega-3 Fat

Wild Salmon is an Excellent Source of Omega-3 Fats

Photo © Karen Struthers
Definition: Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that is essential for our bodies to function. Recently, it has also been becoming very clear that as a whole, our diets do not contain enough of these fats, especially in comparison to the omega 6 fatty acids. This is due to a number of factors, including a decline in eating foods with omega-3 fats and a sharp increase in omega-6 fats (primarily from sources such as soybean oil, corn oil, and other seed oils). This altered ratio is contributing to a lot of excess inflammation in the human body, which is probably the source of many of our chronic diseases, including arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes. It is noteworthy that animals who eat diets “as nature intended” (e.g. cows eating grass) tend to produce meat, milk, and eggs with higher amounts of omega-3 fats than those fed on feeds which have a high omega-6 content (e.g. corn) (which also makes cows sick, and requiring more antibiotics). Some hens are fed enriched feed so that their eggs will have more omega-3 fats in them.
Also Known As: omega-3 fats, good fats, fish oil, flax oil,
Alternate Spellings: omega 3 fats
Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, and mackerel, other seafood such as oysters and scallops, flax seed and flax seed oil, and walnuts.
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