Check Your Omega-3 Levels - MEG-3
Adults in most regions of the world have a low to very low status of omega-3 fatty acids – specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), according to a new review published in the journal “Progress in Lipid Research.” The review’s findings aren’t surprising but they are worrying as these healthy fats are essential for health at all stages of life. Low levels of omega-3s in the bloodstream may be associated with a higher risk of brain, eye and heart conditions.
If you suspect your omega-3 intake levels are low, what can you do?
Check Your Levels
If you are wondering if you or a family member are getting enough omega-3s in your diet, a blood test – the Omega-3 Index – can measure the healthy fats in your red blood cells while assessing your risk of heart disease. Blood cells in the body live an average of four months, so the test results reflect eating habits over the previous one to four months.
This isn’t a customary test proactively given by your health care provider, but you can request one during your next visit.
Increase Your Intake
While the body needs omega-3s, it can’t produce them at significant levels on its own, so you need to get omega-3s from your diet. The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish twice a week, so look for creative and fun ways to add more salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines or tuna to your meal plan. If you’re not a fish fan, consider fortified foods for an added omega-3s. Contrary to popular belief, not all omega-3s are created equally, so look for EPA and DHA on the labels.
If you find that your omega-3 levels are low, consult your health care practitioner to discuss changing your diet or adding EPA and DHA dietary supplements.
Why do we need Omega-3s?
EPA and DHA support a healthy body at all stages of life – whether you are pregnant, nursing, a young child or an aging adult.
Omega-3s support maternal DHA status as well as fetal brain, eye and neurological system development during early life. In infants and children, omega-3s have been shown to be important for brain and eye development. There are numerous studies showing the health benefits of omega-3s for adults, including brain and eye function and overall heart health.
Learn more about your omega-3 levels
Know Your Ω™ is a trademark of DSM
What you eat not only impacts your overall health, but truly affects the health of your eyes. Join registered dietitian and chef, Abbie Gellman, as she shares which foods and nutrients help to support eye health.
Omega-3s EPA and DHA support heart health throughout all stages of life.
Tori Schmitt, MS, RDN, LD and founder of YES! Nutrition shares her tips and tricks for exercising and eating your way to a healthy heart.
Healthy eating is too expensive or takes too much time, right? (1,2) Wrong! You don’t need to go broke, live by the stove, or even know how to cook to eat well.
The building blocks to feeling sexy come from this nutrient. Bonus, Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD and author of the Food and Mood Cookbook shares a recipe that is sure to rev you up.
Omega-3 fats are often touted important nutrients by the media. However, there are many myths that have been propagated and should be debunked. Here are four that you need to know.
As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I would consider myself “Heart Smart.” I understand that having a healthy lifestyle can support the health of my heart.
Eye spy key nutrients that help support the health of our eyes. Focus on the types of omega-3s that are linked to eye health.
If you are looking to improve your heart health, you may find yourself swapping out the saltshaker for spices, eating whole foods in a variety of colors, and getting in more activity through exercise each day.