Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus.See all posts »
I wrote a blog a few weeks ago as sort of an overview of the benefits of including omega-3 fats in your diet. If you are not familiar with the numerous benefits, please read or re-read that post.
Since I wrote that, I have had numerous questions about how to choose the best fish oil supplement. I have had many people say they don't want to take fish oil or eat fish because of the contaminants in fish. Please note that the mercury and other contaminants in fish are found mainly in the protein in of the fish, not the oil. So fish oil supplements are generally free or have very, very little if any of those issues. In fact, the omega-3 supplement industry just recently established uniform standards for purity and quality through the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN).
When choosing a supplement, you want to make sure that you find out that has both EPA and DHA. Make sure you read the label carefully to see how many actual pills are equivalent to the levels listed on the bottle.
If you experience "fish burps" there are a few things you can do.
- Split up the number of pills you are taking throughout the day.
- Take the pills at bedtime.
- Or, take them right before a meal with a small amount of liquid.
- Don't take them with coffee or soft drinks.
- Keep them cold in the refrigerator or freezer.
As far as how much to take (combo of EPA/DHA):
- 650 mg minimum
- 1000 mg is ideal for most people
- 2000-3000 mg to lower blood pressure or trigycerides
If you have a clotting disorder or are on blood thinning medication, check with your doctor before you start taking any fish oil supplements.
For more information, check out the book The Ultimate Omega-3 Diet by Evelyn Tribole, RD
For a wonderful high potency fish oil that has 1000 mg all in one pill and is odorless with no fish burps, check out www.vitaloils1000.com