Turns out, our body needs the good kind of fat to feel and function its best. Essential fatty acids (a.k.a. omega-3 and omega-6) got their name for a reason. They’re essential in ensuring the wellness of our bodies and minds. They form a part of our brain tissue, eyes, and skin, and are critical to helping your body produce healthy cells. But unfortunately, we can’t produce them on our own—they have to be eaten.
Here’s the thing: we ideally should be eating omega-3 and omega-6 at a 1:1 ratio, but our modern diet is creating a huge imbalance in our intake. While omega-6 is found everywhere (chicken, eggs, vegetable oils, nuts, and red meat) omega-3 is found almost exclusively in oily fish like salmon, fresh tuna, sardines, and mackerel—foods we don’t eat often enough. As a result, over 90% of Americans are deficient in omega-3, leading to inflammation—the culprit of most modern diseases and even skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, and rosacea. So where do we go from here? We asked Kay Ali, expert nutritionist and head of nutrition at Bare Biology all our questions about omega-3 supplements and why they’re necessary for modern health. Spoiler alert: the effectiveness of omega-3 is entirely dependent on which supplement you choose!
Why can’t we just eat more oily fish?
“Due to environmental contamination and risk of heavy metal intoxication, we’re limited to a maximum of four portions of fish per week (two if you’re pregnant). For most of us, this just isn’t enough; especially if you’re pregnant, because the demand for omega-3 increases due to the development of the baby’s brain. Taking a pure and effective fish oil supplement is the safest and most convenient way to support our health. Some of the benefits include lowering high blood pressure, supporting inflammatory joint conditions such as arthritis and helping with mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.”
What should we look for in a fish oil supplement?
“Thousands of clinical trials have shown that the benefits of omega-3 are entirely dose dependent. Studies consistently show that you need a high amount of EPA and DHA for results. For example, the American Heart Association says that 3000 mg of EPA and DHA helps to lower high blood pressure, while anything between 2000 and 4000 mg helps to lower cholesterol. Unfortunately, most fish oils on the market don’t even come close. As far as we’re aware, Lion Heart fish oil delivers the highest strength of EPA and DHA per serving. That’s 3000mg of EPA and DHA in just one teaspoon.”
Considering ocean pollution, how do we ensure that the fish oil we take isn’t contaminated?
“Unfortunately, we’ve polluted our oceans resulting in chemical, plastic and heavy metal contamination of fish. Research has shown that the larger the fish and the higher up the food chain, the more toxic they are. That’s why we only use small fish—sardines, mackerel, and anchovies. Not only are they naturally higher in omega-3, they live in the oceans for a shorter period of time, reducing their exposure to toxins. Most brands are made with larger toxic fish like tuna or salmon.”
Hate to bring this up but… what about fishy burps?
“Fishy burps or “repeating” is not normal! The burps only happen with rancid oils. The repulsive reaction is a bit like when you’ve eaten some salmon that’s gone off. Within minutes, your body wants to get rid of it. I’ve been with Bare Biology from start and to date, and I’ve yet to hear a customer complain that our oils repeat on them.”