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Why do we need Omega-3?

By J. Caroline Carroll

(NC)—Omega-3 is called an "essential" fatty acid, so it certainly sounds like we should know exactly what it is – and as importantly, we want to know where to get it in the foods we give our families.

"Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat, known as the 'good fats', and are important for good health," says Sue Mah, a Toronto- based registered dietitian. "Research tells us that omega-3 fats can reduce blood clotting, control inflammation, and lower the risk of heart disease."

"Omega-3 fatty acids are called 'essential' because our bodies can't make them, so we need to get them from the foods we eat," Mah continued, "The problem is that most of us probably aren't getting enough omega-3 fats."

There are two sources of Omega-3 fatty acids:

• Animal Source: Almost exclusively in fish, especially fatty fish such as salmon, rainbow trout and mackerel.

• Plant Source: Walnuts, canola and soybean oil all contain omega-3 fats. Flax seeds and flax seed oil are one of the best plant sources of omega-3 fat.

"A daily intake of 1.1 g to 1.6 g of Omega-3 is recommended by health experts," says Sandra Kim at Ronzoni Foods Canada, makers of Catelli pasta, a brand name that offers 12 varieties of whole grain pasta in their Healthy Harvest line. "A serving of our Flax Omega-3 Pasta provides as much as 0.8 g of Omega-3 – and at several tasty recipes for flax and other pasta varieties are at your fingertips.


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Toronto, ON, Canada
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