Category Archives: whole foods

What About Fish Oil and Omega 3s?

I eat healthy and read lots of articles on healthy eating. I also take supplements to ‘fill the blanks’ on any nutrients I might be missing. So when WebMD offered a quiz on Fish Oil and Omega 3s, I considered it right up my alley. I actually take a Krill Oil supplement to augment my Omega 3s.

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You can take WebMD’s quiz here. Despite my general reading and actions, I scored only four out of 10 correct.

I wish you luck. Here is the first question: Taking fish oil supplements is as good for you as eating fish. True or False?

Spoiler alert! The answer is “False. Fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel, and fish oil capsules all have heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

“But adding fish to your diet carries healthy bonuses that you won’t get from a supplement: calcium and vitamins B2 and D. It’s also an excellent source of protein.

“So try to eat fish more often. Have it two times a week instead of meat.

“If you have heart problems, though, you may need to boost your omega-3s with a supplement. Talk to your doctor.”

I wanted to share this first answer with you because it demonstrates a wider point, namely, it is usually better to get your nutrients from whole foods rather than pills. Maybe that’s why the pills are called ‘supplements’ because they are meant to supplement our needs not fulfill them.

I hope you did better than I did on the test. If not, at least you, like me, got a mini education in fish oil and omega 3 facts. It’s all good.

Tony

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Supplements vs Whole Foods? – Mayo Clinic Answers

This almost seems like an age old question to me. Supplements supply all those hundreds and thousands of milligrams of nutrients. Surely they have more food value than plain-old whole foods.

You can get much more than your entire daily requirement of vitamin C by 
just popping a pill. On the other hand, you can get your daily requirement by eating a large orange. So which is better? in most cases, the orange, says the Mayo Clinic in its publication Your Guide To Vitamin & Mineral Supplements.

“Whole foods — such as fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy products — have three main benefits you can’t get in a pill:
• Whole foods are complex. They contain a variety of the 
nutrients your body needs — not just one. An orange, for example, provides vitamin C as well as beta carotene, calcium and other nutrients. Vitamin C supplements
lack these other nutrients. Similarly, a glass of milk provides you with protein, vitamin D, riboflavin, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. If you take only calcium supplements and skip calcium-rich foods, such as dairy products, you may miss all the other nutrients you need for healthy bones.

• Whole foods provide dietary fiber. Fiber is important for digestion, and it helps prevent certain diseases. Soluble fiber (found in beans, some grains, and some fruits and vegetables) and insoluble fiber (found in whole grains and some fruits and vegetables) may help prevent heart disease, diabetes and constipation.

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Filed under healthy eating, Mayo Clinic, supplements, Weight, whole foods