Supplements as an insurance policy
Think of omega-3 supplements as an insurance policy for your heart, brain and eyes, especially if you’re not eating fatty fish twice a week. As with any insurance policy, be sure to read the fine print. In this case it is the Supplement Facts panel on the packaging. There are two important things to look for on the label: (1) the amount of EPA and DHA per daily serving and (2) how much you need to consume to get a full serving.
EPA and DHA omega-3s are nutrients that comprise only a portion of the total product like fish oils, krill oils, algal oils or omega-3 concentrates. Some packaging will feature “Fish Oil 1000mg” but this describes the amount of total fish oil in the product and not the specific levels of EPA and DHA. The bottom line? Check the Supplement Facts panel on the packaging to clearly identity the amount of EPA and DHA. Remember – you are looking to consume 250 mg to 500 mg of EPA and DHA per day.
For those following a vegetarian or vegan diet, you can still add EPA and DHA to your nutrition regimen by choosing algae-based omega-3 supplements. ALA supplements (think flaxseed and chia) will not provide the EPA and DHA your body needs. Learn the differences.