No doubt you’ve heard that Omega 3 oils are hugely beneficial for anyone suffering from a heart condition or heart disease right? The real question here is whether or not this is some kind of placebo effect or if Omega-3 oils can actually help with keeping your heart healthy.
The original Italian medical study done in relation to the beneficial effects of Omega-3 demonstrated that this type of oil could reduce the threat of heart failure by more than 12% but as it turns out this same study was conducted on patients who were already taking Beta blockers and ACE(angiotensin-converting-enzyme )-inhibitors at the same time. This mean that getting a definitive scientific result from this study was almost impossible. Also the fact that the patients taking the Omega-3 oil supplement were also taking prescription medication for the same problem means that it could have been the Omega-3 was actually helping more than the prescription medication was.
But there is strong cultural evidence to show that societies and peoples who eat a diet rich in fish-based Omega-3 always have a lower incidence of heart disease in their population. So even though the medical evidence might indicate that Omega-3 is really only about 2% more effective than taking a sugar pill for heart problems there is a wealth of evidence to indicate that eating fish rich in Omega-3 (sardines, tuna, halibut, salmon, trout and mackerel for example) as part of your diet is a particularly healthy thing to do. The long lifespan and healthier lives of the Inuit, Mediterranean and Asian cultures being proof of this and even the established medical community are happy to recognize that although they might not understand exactly how Omega-3 is beneficial in helping prevent heart disease (and a wide range of other dangerous diseases also) it does most definitely work.
When you either eat fish or other foods rich in Omega-3 the good fatty acids in these foods go to work and basically cut down on the level of triglycerides in your blood – removing all the fat in your blood that shouldn’t be there. At the same time Omega-3 oils reduce inflammation in the arteries so this helps reduce the risk of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). What causes heart attacks for most people is that your arteries lose their flexibility and then get coated on the inside with fat. This means your heart has to work much, much harder to “push” blood and oxygen through your body, which in turn leads to people having heart attacks.
3 servings of fish per day is too much, for example, and there’s evidence to link an “overdose” of fatty acids to hemorrhagic strokes. Eating a single portion of fish per day or just having fish every other day is enough to make sure you’re eating a balanced and healthy diet and getting all the Omega-3 you need. Obviously covering the fish in batter or soaking it in butter isn’t going to help so try to either boil, bake or grill your fish – you’ll thank yourself from a health point of view and it just tastes so much better cooked this way!
There is a wealth of anecdotal and physical evidence to prove that either eating fish rich in Omega-3 oils or taking an Omega-3 supplement helps prevent heart disease, strokes, arrhythmia and can even help with angina. These fatty acids are also beneficial even if you have already had a heart attack and want to lower your triglyceride (bad fat) levels too – it’s a win-win from a health point of view to have a balanced amount of Omega-3 in your diet and in your life.