Saturday, December 26, 2009

What Kind of Omega-3 Oils Should I Take?

My doctor told me to take fish oil pills for a touch of high cholesterol. I was just wondering what is better: Fish oil pills or omega three or salmon pills.  Also, what is the best oil to cook with.... I think it is olive oil but not sure.  Thank You. Anne H.

Dear Anne,

You are absolutely right about olive oil being good for cooking. As one of the monounsaturated oils (along with canola and peanut oil) this type helps lower your total cholesterol without affecting the "good" (HDL) level, as polyunsaturated oils, such as sunflower and safflower have been found to do.

Regarding the Omega-3 fatty acids: They are found in fish oils, including salmon, so you are on track with your information. Most capsules provide 1000 mg and your doctor likely suggested one per day. Higher doses should not be taken without your physician's advice as there can be harmful side effects for some people at this level. My own physician suggested capsules of flaxseed oil, which is a source of omega-3 fatty acids, instead of fish oil merely because there is no danger of a fishy aftertaste later in the day. I think that is good advice!

1 comment:

  1. I like to use pharmaceutical grade fish oils. These are molecularly-distilled fish oils that remove that fishy after-taste common with lower grade fish oils. Pharmaceutical-grade fish oils must meet minimum standards of contaminants in order to be labelled as such. These contaminants include minimal levels of mercury, PCB's, and dioxins. These high grade fish oils must also contain a minimal amount of the important omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA. You'll find that liquid fish oils will provide a higher amount of EPA and DHA per dose, compared to soft gels. The downside is the liquid fish oils may cost a little more per dose, but you're getting the benefit of a higher amount of EPA and DHA per dose.