What are Omega-3 Fats?

What are Omega-3 fats? Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat found naturally in oily fish and some nuts and seeds that have been shown to have many positive health benefits including the heart. There are 2 types of omega-3s: oily fish like salmon, herring and mackerel have long chain (LC) omega 3s while plant foods (e.g., canola oil, walnuts or flax) are high in short chain (SC) omega 3s. Short chain omega-3’s have to be converted by the body to LC to have the same health benefits as fish. While healthy, SC are considered less effective than LC for heart health. But what if you hate eating fish? Fish oil supplements may help though research is mixed on their benefit: research supports eating fish not pills. Fortunately, research is continuing on omega-3’s from algae, which is what salmon and other oily fish eat. Algae sources of omega 3 fatty acids may be the best substitute for those who won’t or don’t eat fish.