Are You Getting Enough Omega 3s in Your Diet?

www.mypicshares.com

As pervasive as consumer habits are in eating a processed diet, many individuals in developed countries do not receive adequate amounts of this essential fatty acid from healthy sources.

Populations eating processed foods have a tendency to consume an overabundance of Omega 6s from empty foods lacking in real nutritional content.

Some of these foods include the following:

  • Crackers
  • Cold and hot cereals from packages
  • Breads
  • Bagels
  • Pasta
  • Cookies, food bars, and dessert items
  • Pretzels, chips, and other snacks

Despite claims made on labeling, many of these products have been extruded (subjected to being crushed through a small hole in a machine and then treated under high heat temperatures) and stripped of any real nutritional value. Also, these foods have not been properly prepared as our ancestors once ate them – sprouted, soaked, and/or fermented. Baking instead of frying does not exclude a food from the process of extrusion.

Here are some healthy foods from where you can obtain Omega 3s:

  • Fish and seafood – cold water, oily varieties such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, anchovies, and sardines, and mollusks like oysters, clams, mussels, squid, octopus, and scallops, shrimp, lobster, crayfish, fish roe, and crab (these are also the best source for fat-soluble Vitamins A & D).
  • Organ meats from pasture-raised animals and foul
  • Pasture-raised chickens, turkeys, and ducks – those fed a diet of grasses, worms, and insects
  • Eggs from pasture-raised poultry and other birds
  • Grass-fed meats and lamb
  • Raw milk, cheese, and other dairy from cows that are grass-fed
  • Organic butter from grass-fed cows; check your local dairies.  Raw butter packs the highest nutritional punch. A good store brand is Kerrygold
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Hazelnuts

According to Eat Wild:

“Meat from grass-fed animals has two to four times more omega-3 fatty acids than meat from grain- fed animals. Omega-3s are called “good fats” because they play a vital role in every cell and system in your body. For example, of all the fats, they are the most heart-friendly. People who have ample amounts of omega-3s in their diet are less likely to have high blood pressure or an irregular heartbeat. Remarkably, they are 50 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack. Omega-3s are essential for your brain as well. People with a diet rich in omega-3s are less likely to suffer from depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder (hyperactivity), or Alzheimer’s disease.

Another benefit of omega-3s is that they may reduce your risk of cancer. In animal studies, these essential fats have slowed the growth of a wide array of cancers and also kept them from spreading. Although the human research is in its infancy, researchers have shown that omega-3s can slow or even reverse the extreme weight loss that accompanies advanced cancer and also hasten recovery from surgery.

Omega-3s are most abundant in seafood and certain nuts and seeds such as flaxseeds and walnuts, but they are also found in animals raised on pasture. The reason is simple. Omega-3s are formed in the chloroplasts of green leaves and algae. Sixty percent of the fatty acids in grass are omega-3s. When cattle are taken off omega-3 rich grass and shipped to a feedlot to be fattened on omega-3 poor grain, they begin losing their store of this beneficial fat. Each day that an animal spends in the feedlot, its supply of omega-3s is diminished.

When chickens are housed indoors and deprived of greens, their meat and eggs also become artificially low in omega-3s. Eggs from pastured hens can contain as much as 10 times more omega-3s than eggs from factory hens.”

The most abundant supply of Omega 3s come from seafood, then animals and birds, with plants, nuts, and grains being a distant third. It is extremely important that you obtain Omega 3s only from meat and dairy products that originate from grass-fed and pasture-raised poultry. Birds and animals who are fed grains, soy, and corn have a much lower Omega 3 content and a higher Omega 6 content – the consumption of which is associated with the development of inflammatory conditions in the body such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and many others.

Omega 3 essential fatty acids are crucial in the maintenance of various body systems including brain development in infants and children, cardiovascular systems, maintain mood and balance, aid in brain and nervous system function, and help prevent cancer.

For more information on Omega 3s and the role they play in health, read:

How well do you know your food? Find out!

Whole Health Source

Pastured dairy may prevent heart attacks

For those not scientifically-inclined

For a full treatment of health and nutrition topics, including a wealth of information on Omega 3s, read The Diet Cure and The Mood Cure by Julia Ross, M.A.

28 Comments

  • Sarah Burrows
    June 14, 2010 - 2:49 PM | Permalink

    Raine – just wanted to drop in and tell you that this article is great! So full of good information for newbies like myself : )

  • June 14, 2010 - 4:02 PM | Permalink

    I’ve been looking for a basic list of Omega-3 rich foods. This is perfect! Thanks!

  • June 14, 2010 - 7:37 PM | Permalink

    Hi Sarah! I am glad you found this article useful. I hope it helps you in your journey to nourish your family. I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the summertime weather/activities. It JUST finally became summer here! :)

    Robin – you are welcome, thanks for visiting and I hope you’ll stop by again sometime! :)

  • Rancher
    June 14, 2010 - 10:58 PM | Permalink

    Hi Raine,

    I notice you have at the top of your list fermented cod liver oil. Although I would completely agree that cod liver oil is a great source of Omega 3′s, not all cod liver oil is created equal. The product that you are recommending here does not have any Omega 3 claims. We are left to assume it has good benefits, a conclusion I am not willing to “take someone’s” word for. There is one product that does have natural vitamins and Omega 3′s have been tested and published. That is the product we should be taking. You can find it here Radiant Life. I do not have any affiliation with either company, just a concern for our communities health. :-)

    By the way, that same company that sells the fermented stuff also sells butter oil recommended by Dr. Weston Price. Unfortunately, that oil has almost no benefits that Dr. Price was recommending because is comes from a pasteurized butter oil and not from a raw product. The butter is also not produced in this country! Stay away from this product. Get you oil from raw milk and butter from cows that are consuming rapidly growing green grass only. Your body will appreciate it!

    Thanks for sharing! :-)

    • June 15, 2010 - 12:05 PM | Permalink

      Hello Rancher

      please make sure you know your facts b4 presenting something as a fact. The butter oil we make has never seen heat. plus we do make it here… why would you spread false rumors as such? we do manage farms outside the country but this is for very specific reasons that are important to the products viability. we used to do the milking but we can not do all the work any longer. we do the management of the farm, production work and all the final production work is done here, in nebraska.

      dave

      • Rancher
        June 15, 2010 - 9:44 PM | Permalink

        Hi Dave,

        Thank you for your reply, I am glad to hear this. So you are saying that your product has not been pasteurized at any time during the production process? Before or after arriving at your facility? That would be good news.

    • June 15, 2010 - 12:31 PM | Permalink

      Hello Rancher

      Omega 3 claims: the reason we do not highlight Omega 3′s in the FCLO is:

      All the industrialized fish oils highlight a few fatty acids in their products such as EPA, DHA, Omega3′s because after processing /very high heat all they have left in the product to discuss are a few fatty acids. so what do they have to sell? omega 3′s….

      The real FCLO is rich in thousands of nutrients. The fatty acids are all included but the real discussion is the deep and rich varieties of vitamins, Quinones, Hormones ect….

      The Fatty acid complex of the fish/fish oil is derived from its feed and metabolism. so if the fish is wild caught and it is within the same family of fish the fatty acid complex will be about the same +/-.

      with these facts i choose to use the limited label space to discuss the things that i think the real story is about. and i do not agree with the industrialized fish oil industry that the story is omega 3′s. the story is the nutrients and hormones tied within these fatty acid complexes

      side note. scientists who study fish can tell the viability of a school of fish by looking at their fatty acid complex. it is not the fatty acid complex that dictates the viability but the different factors, nutrients, hormones that associate with the different fatty acid complexes. their is a balance that is required for proper reproduction….. that can be studied by simply looking at the fatty acid balance. the other nutrients/hormones balance changes as the feed or fatty acid complex within the fish changes

      dave

      ps, i’m not totally sure for the reson of your post on the subject but my guess is their is some motivation behind it. if you ever have a question on our products and want to verify prior to posting please drop me an email. my replies are short and to the point as i have many emails to work through per day but i will reply.

      • June 15, 2010 - 1:07 PM | Permalink

        Thank you Dave, for your thorough and articulate reply to this commenter. I appreciate it and fully support your amazing products! Many thanks for all you do! :)

    • Dana
      June 15, 2010 - 1:17 PM | Permalink

      Stating that a product does not have “omega-3 claims” and condemning it for that reason is kind of silly, isn’t it? All that means is nobody mentioned it on the label. So what? If you’re that worried about it, you can get foods tested for nutritional content for about a hundred bucks. You’d spend about that much on cable TV for two or three months. If it’s that important to you, go find out.

      By the way, the real benefits of the CLO and butter oils are their fat-soluble vitamin content. Incidentally, one of the traits that distinguish fat-soluble vitamins from water-soluble vitamins is that fat-solubles stand up much better to heat exposure. This is why you can still get vitamin A from liver even though most people (probably something like 99+ percent) cook that food.

      So it wouldn’t matter even if Green Pastures DID pasteurize the milk their butter oil comes from. The real question is, does it contain vitamin K? If the answer is “yes,” then you will likely derive benefit from it. Again, if it’s that important to you to be one hundred percent certain, a hundred bucks or so would get you your answer.

      Have fun. And next time you want to say such things about a business, maybe you *should* do the aforementioned testing, that way you are not in danger of libel charges. I’m not speaking for GP here, but if it were me I would at least consider taking you to court, because your kind of comment has the potential to be damaging to my hypothetical business, and if I knew for a fact you were making incorrect statements I would feel forced to defend myself. Dave is being remarkably charitable. Take his gift for what it is.

      Have a nice day.

      • June 15, 2010 - 5:44 PM | Permalink

        Dana – thanks for your comments and support. I agree that this type of commentary is considered slanderous and could be used in a court of law by a party or business to defend themselves should they choose, and Dave has behaved with the utmost integrity and decorum in this situation.

        In fact, there is almost always no other motive besides malice in a comment of this nature. It is my hope that the person can apologize on this forum – as I’ve already requested such action, or else be blocked from making future comments on this site.

        While this may seem a bit harsh, just consider the trouble a comment of this nature could potentially cause for a business trying to make their livelihood honestly, ethically, and to help people stay healthy. If no apology is issued, at the very least, I hope the commenter will reconsider the consequences of such behavior and making statements like this in public forums in the future.

  • June 15, 2010 - 7:28 AM | Permalink

    Rancher – Green Pastures fermented cod liver oil does contain Omega 3s, I don’t know where you got that information. It may not be as high as some other sources – such as grass-fed meats and poultry, pasture-raised eggs,and unpasteurized milk and butter. As for the butter oil being pasteurized, I have never heard that information anywhere either, and I can’t confirm that it is true. I will do some research, but currently I cannot find anything stating GP uses pasteurized butter oil in their products.

    I am very familiar with Premier Labs brand products, and although they are excellent quality, I don’t see anywhere on the Radiant Life site that their CLO is fermented, which is a problem because lack of fermentation often means that the nutrients have been removed during the purification process of the oil and synthetic added back in.

    I’d like to see the information you found regarding all of this and the claim that the butter oil is not made in our country. The butter oil not being made in the U.S. is less of a concern to me since the CLO itself does not come from our country (which it couldn’t since we don’t have those types of resources anywhere near the U.S. anyway) before I rush off and start taking some other brand of CLO. I don’t receive any commission from Green Pastures, I simply recommend the brand I believe is highest-quality due to the research and testimony from many people I know who take this great product.

    I think I’ll stick with Green Pastures as theirs is fermented in smaller batches in the traditional method from old practices used by Norwegians from long ago.

  • June 15, 2010 - 8:14 AM | Permalink

    Rancher – here is the information that denies the claims you have made here (direct from their web site):

    X-Factor Gold…High Vitamin Butter Oil is made from dairy oil extracted without heat from cows that eat 100% rapidly growing grass. The speed of the grass growth, timing of the grazing of this grass, species of grass, climate and extraction method are all important to make real X-Factor Gold™ High Vitamin Butter Oil.
    Green Pasture’s High Vitamin Butter Oil contains a broad and deep range of Quinones including Vitamin K’s, E’s, and CoQ enzyme families.

    Also, from David Wetzel himself (manager of GP products), the cows where the butter comes from are in and around the local Nebraska area where their company resides.

    Thus, GP FCLO is a superior product and is fully endorsed by WAPF supporters and Sally Fallon Morell herself, the founder of the WAPF.

    Readers, please know that I am exceedingly careful about products I endorse here, and the claims being made about this fantastic product are simply untrue. You can make up your own mind, but go visit GP web site to confirm all this information:

    http://www.greenpasture.org/retail/?t=products&a=line&i=fermented-cod-liver-oil

  • June 15, 2010 - 10:42 AM | Permalink

    Raine, thank you for once again providing a great post on a very important subject.

    We have been taking Green Pastures fermented Cod Liver Oil and butter oil for years. Since the butter oil is really expensive, we experimented with substituting ghee from grassfed cows. We ended up
    returning to Green Pastures butter oil because we could tell the difference. We all felt better taking the Green Pastures butter oil.

    As always, all the information you provided above is totally accurate.I have no idea where Rancher gets that information. Thanks for clarifying the issue.

  • June 15, 2010 - 1:11 PM | Permalink

    Raine, thanks for doing the follow up. I found the replies informative and reassuring.

    Pat

  • June 15, 2010 - 1:24 PM | Permalink

    I know Dave, and he and his family make the best products possible. We’ve been using both his butter oil and FCLO for years, and I’d never use anything else. GP is not a mega-factory, and Dave is committed to only putting out the best products – unlike many other fish oils and CLO’s on the market (though I have no idea of the other product mentioned in this discussion). Please understand that before you besmirch the name of a company that’s actually committed to our health -

    • June 15, 2010 - 5:36 PM | Permalink

      Hi Scott – thank you for your testimonial and statement about Dave and his great company. I want to make sure people understand that the statement made above that attempted to discredit Green Pastures was unfounded and untrue. I appreciate your support!

    • June 15, 2010 - 8:18 PM | Permalink

      Good word: besmirch!

  • June 15, 2010 - 1:32 PM | Permalink

    Raine, this was an excellent and informative post about an important nutrient.
    I also recommend Green Pastures fermented CLO and butter oils. In addition, I avoid processed foods, cereals, and eat meat and dairy products from grass fed animals.

    • June 15, 2010 - 5:34 PM | Permalink

      Hi Cathy – thanks for your support of this great product! I hope more and more people discover its great qualities and ability to heal health issues and prevent disease, along with a healthy diet from sustainable sources. :)

  • June 15, 2010 - 1:59 PM | Permalink

    I know that X-Factor butter oil and raw butter or ghee are just not the same thing. The nutrients are super concentrated in the butter oil. Maybe Dave can comment here, how many pounds of raw grass-fed butter does it take to make one bottle of the X-Factor butter oil?

  • Katie
    June 15, 2010 - 2:18 PM | Permalink

    High Vitamin Butter Oil and FCLO combo (Blue Ice Royal by Green Pastures) is part of the protocol that has helped heal our child of a developmental delay. Before we implemented the BIR along with other dietetic measures, our son spoke maybe ten words and would stare at a TV all day. In the past 5 months he has turned into a fun, happy, mischievous, TALKING 3 year old. The proof is in the pudding for us. Thanks for great information!

    • June 15, 2010 - 5:33 PM | Permalink

      Katie – I love testimonials like this where a health issue has been improved or eradicated from using a nutrient-dense food like FCLO. That’s great! I wish all parents who had children with those types of problems could discover this amazing, miracle food! There are so many children who have developmental and other related disorders who could benefit from FCLO. Thanks for all your help today on Facebook, I really appreciate it! :)

  • June 15, 2010 - 2:38 PM | Permalink

    Great article, Raine! Although I personally wouldn’t go for walnuts to get omega-3s because they have a whole lot of omega-6s, too.

    And I’m another proud supporter of Green Pastures products! I know of few companies who take such care to provide quality goods. I’m a lifetime customer for sure!

    • June 15, 2010 - 5:30 PM | Permalink

      Hi Elizabeth – yes, the walnuts do have Omega 6s, I just wanted to mention a variety of foods that contained Omega 3s (although some of them are not as abundant as others, it’s true!).

      I couldn’t agree more that GP products are phenomenal and I credit our ability to stay very healthy during the long winter months with a healthy diet that included Green Pastures Blue Ice Royal (fermented cod liver oil and butter oil combination).

      Thanks for your support of this great product, this post, and for visiting! :)

  • June 15, 2010 - 10:12 PM | Permalink

    Please note: above after Dave’s comment, I have allowed the second comment from Rancher to remain in order for everyone to be able to read her response.

  • June 22, 2010 - 10:44 AM | Permalink

    To my readers – I have talked with Dave as well as a number of other reputable people in this industry, and the oil does not go through a pasteurization process. Unless someone else wants to share a comment about their positive experience with this product, I will remove any further commentaries (I’ve had to remove one already). This forum is not available for argumentation, and especially those that are not founded and based upon personal issues. Thanks for your cooperation!

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