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What You Ought To Know About Omega-3s

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All month (here, here, and here) I’ve been alluding to the extra special powers of omega-3 fats and now the wait is over (am I the only person who thought of James Franco in Pineapple Express when reading that?)

(No, weed does not contain omega-3s, that I know of).

Anyhow, let’s get back to business.

What do omega-3 fats do? The better question is what can’t they do? They’re that good. From Precision Nutrition they:

  • keep our hearts and brains healthy
  • lower inflammation
  • improve our cells’ communication
  • keep joints mobile
  • help us stay lean
  • help build muscle

There is also strong evidence that they can:

  • improve your blood lipids (like triglycerides and HDL-C)
  • help reduce some symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • help reduce some ADHD symptoms
  • help regulate our metabolism and blood sugar

That’s a lot of good stuff, right?

What food contain Omega-3s?

  • some aquatic life (cold water fish, shellfish, algae) contain EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) & DHA omega-3s(docosahexaenoic acid) – these types are what our bodies mostly use
  • some nuts and seeds (flax, chia, walnuts, hemp) contain ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) – this can technically be converted to the other types of omega-3s but generally very little of it actually is, so it’s hard to get enough EPA/DHA from plant these sources.

Why do some people take fish oil supplements?

omega 3 pills

In a nutshell (get it?), most people eat plenty of nuts and seeds but not enough fish, leaving the opportunity to supplement in an effort to maximize the health benefits of omega-3s listed above. Should you? It depends. First, try to do these 3 things on a consistent basis:

  • Eat more fatty fish (if this aligns with your dietary preferences).
  • Eat other healthy fats like the ones on this list (link).
  • Minimize unhealthy fats like the ones on this list (link).

If you do decide to supplement, check the label and determine what size dose will yield you 1-2g of EPA/DHA (likely 3-6g of total fish oil). This is a safe amount that will give you all the health benefits.

Another (plant-based) option is a krill or algae supplement. If you go this route, shoot for 300mg EPA/DHA.

Here are some brands that Precision Nutrition has vetted:

Omega-3 Liquid by Thorne Research
Our top recommended fish oil product, it’s high in EPA and DHA, comes in great-tasting raspberry lemonade, contains astaxanthins for antioxidant support, and is extremely pure.
o3mega by Genuine Health
This excellent product contains a high concentration of EPA and DHA. As with the Thorne Research product, we prefer liquid as it’s easier to get higher doses of fish oil in liquid form vs. capsules.
Omega-3 Softgels by Thorne Research
Another excellent Thorne Research product, this one provides fish oil in capsule form and is free of heavy metals and toxins. It also contains peppermint oil for a more pleasant taste.

If you found this info useful, you’ll LOVE my free Healthy Foods Cheat Sheet, complete with portion guide and bonus Grocery Shopping Template! Healthy Food Cheat Sheet 3D Cover-page-001

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