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This Popular Heart Health Supplement Doesn't Actually Prevent Heart Disease

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"The Results Provide No Support … to Use Omega-3 Fatty Acids for the Prevention of Fatal Coronary Artery Disease or any cardiovascular disease in people the researchers wrote.

These findings are consistent with the 2016 guidelines of the European Society of Cardiology and the European Society of Atherosclerosis for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, which indicate It's debatable whether Omega-3 supplements protect against coronary heart disease. In addition, the American Heart Association does not consider fish oil supplements as a substitute enough to eat fish.

This salmon with cedar leaf is a good way to get omega-3:

skip a pill? For one, you can not be s sure that the supplements contain as much of a given nutrient as their labels claim. (The FDA does not rate supplements as "conventional" foods.) But there's also another compelling reason: "Foods, like salmon, offer more benefits than just omega-3s. . It has protein, B vitamins, potassium, and more. When you take a supplement, a person only gets that specific nutrient. Because of this, the body treats supplements differently – and often, less effectively – than real food, "says Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN, Registered Dietitian, and author of 365 Snacks for Every Day of the Year . Koszyk's sentiments are consistent with recent research that suggests that a combination of omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients in fish could be responsible for the benefits of protecting the body. heart.

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Another thing to consider: Some of the benefits of eating oily fish like salmon and tuna twice a week (the current recommendation) come from the fact that when people eat fish, they do not eat as much saturated fat. According to Rebecca Ditkoff, MPH, RD, founder of Nutrition by RD, red meat or processed meats contain less beneficial fats and a lot of salt.

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So, if omega-3 supplements can not keep your ticker strong, what can you do to prevent heart disease? And if you do not like fish, or dieting that does not allow the consumption of marine life? So what? Here's all you need to know:

Q: How many fish should I eat?

"To get the recommended amount of omega-3, eat two 4-ounce servings of oily fish a week," Ditkoff said. If you miss the mark on the occasion, Ditkoff says that supplements can be an appropriate "insurance policy". She recommends Nordic Naturals, which you can take on Amazon. "Their fish oil is made with quality ingredients sourced from omega-rich wild fish and it has no fishy odor or aftertaste like the other omega-3s that I've had. Have tried in the past. "

of fish should I eat?

Anchovies, wild salmon (canned or fresh), tuna (canned or fresh), herring and mackerel are all good sources of oily fish, Koszyk says. "Eat swordfish and tiles less often.They have higher levels of mercury."

Something else to keep in mind: other heart-healthy foods can also help protect your ticker. "The Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to protect against heart disease, includes fish, but also promotes other healthy foods, including plenty of vegetables, fruits, beans, olive oil and nuts" said Ditkoff. "Foods eaten in a typical Mediterranean diet as a whole may also have synergistic effects that may be beneficial to heart health."

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Q: I do not eat fish. How can I be sure to have enough omega-3s?

"Adding groundnut or ground flaxseed to salads, cereals and yogurt is a simple way to eat healthy omega-3s," says Ditkoff. Women over 19 should aim for 1.1 grams of omega-3 per day. A simple 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed provides 2.9 grams of nutrients and 1/4 cup of nuts contains about 2.7 grams.

You can also make a omega-3 rich dressing by whipping together 1/4 cup walnut oil, 2 tablespoon sherry vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard and a pinch salt

Another option for vegetarians and vegans: algae and seaweed, says Koszyk. "Snack on packets of dried roasted seaweed snacks like SeaSnax (12-pack, $ 19.95, amazon.com) or use seaweed oil (16.9 oz, $ 14.99 , amazon.com) to cook stir-fries, make salad dressings or vegetables or proteins. "

Another tasty idea? "Nori crumble and use it in a vegan Caesar vinaigrette for anchovy undercuts," suggests Olivia Roszkowski, chief instructor at the Gourmet Naturel Institute.

The bottom line.

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, you probably do not. You do not need to spend money for expensive supplements. It is best to train and eat a healthy diet (as indicated above) so you can maintain a healthy weight and avoid conditions that increase your risk of heart disease. (Like diabetes and high blood pressure.)

"The main finding of this study is that there is no magic pill. Living a healthy lifestyle is the best prevention against diseases, "says Koszyk.

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