"How do I know if I am getting enough omega-3s?"
"Do I get enough from my diet?"
These are the questions I asked myself when I first questioned my intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Let me tell you now, chances are – probably not.
Getting the right daily dose of omega-3s through your diet is not difficult. Actually, one to two portions of oily or fatty fish each week, like Trout, Salmon or Mackerel, is sufficient to meet our minimum daily needs according to the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health. Easy right? Well perhaps not.
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The majority of people have low intakes of omega-3
People just do not seem to do it. 4 in 5 Americans have low levels of omega-3 in their blood, which is astonishing given the multitude of omega-3 health benefits associated with having optimal levels of this powerful nutrient.
Take myself. After having my omega-3 blood levels measured using the Omega-3 Index test, I was eager to see the results. A trained nutritionist, health enthusiast and food lover, surely I would be within the healthy range!
Apparently not. Although not far off, with a score of 7.1%, I was still below the recommended Omega-3 index level of between 8-12%, which is the optimal range for reduced risk of developing cardiovascular problems, such as heart disease.
My first thought was, “well I am almost there”. However, it then hit me. I have low levels, and I care. I care about the food I eat, I consume a balanced, nutrient rich diet and still, I have not achieved the optimal healthy range.
So what about those who pay less attention to their diet, or those who do not consume foods rich in omega-3s?
It dawned on me how difficult it is to get enough omega-3 fatty acids in the average diet and how important it is to make sure that you are getting the right amounts. Especially given the long-term health risks associated with low levels of this essential nutrient.
Since analysing my omega-3 levels using the Omega-3 Index Test, I took Krill Oil for 3 months before re-testing my levels. I have now increased my index by 1.7 to a healthy 8.8% and it is great to see it on paper. That being said, there is still room for improvement and I am excited to push that number higher to invest in my health and my future.