Omega 3 supplementation is all the rage these days and for good reason. The question is, should sardines be spoken of in the same breath when talking about the best omega 3 supplement?
There are three types of essential omega fatty acids: omega 3, omega 6, and omega 9. In order to maximize health, we need to have these three fatty acids in a proper balance.
Typically, animal products are supposed to have good ratios of these fatty acids, so it would seem that supplementation would not be necessary for non-vegans.
Not so fast my friend.
The Rise in Need for the Best Omega 3 Supplement
Modern agricultural techniques used in factory farming have altered this healthy balance of omega fatty acids that we once found in animal products.
Today, when we think of which foods contain a high amount of omega 3 fatty acids, of which many of us are deficient, we typically think of certain types of seafood, like salmon. And we would be correct to think so. Salmon is an excellent source of mega 3 fatty acids.
However, what we don’t often hear about is the fact that pasture raised animals producing food like beef and eggs actually have an omega fatty acid profile that rivals foods like salmon.
The issue is it is very difficult, and costly, to eat a diet containing only these prime forms of animal products, like wild caught seafood and pasture raised animals. That means that the vast majority of us are consuming much conventionally raised animal products which are very low in omega 3 and very high in omega 6. Which means we need a supplement if we want to balance that out.
A Comparison to Determine the Best Omega 3 Supplement
Fortunately, with omega 3 supplementation being all the rage, there are great options to choose from.
But what if there are simple dietary choices could produce an even better, or enhanced result, than supplementation alone?
Consider these two wonderful products from the same store, Trader Joe’s.
The first product is their omega 3 supplement which, in full disclosure, I take daily and love.
Their supplement contains 600mg of omega 3s per serving, which gives me a great boost and helps counteract any low omega 3 balances I might have consumed in conventionally raised animal products. It is also a fairly inexpensive way to do so.
On the other hand is another product from Trader Joe’s that I consume almost daily: their smoked, skinless, and boneless sardines in olive oil.
Why are Sardines in the Contention for Best Omega 3 Supplement?
These particular sardines from Trader Joe’s are inexpensive (though more expensive than a single pill) and come with a whopping 1.7g of omega 3s, almost three times the supplement that is designed to give you a boost.
So the question needs to be asked: which is the better supplement? The actual supplement? Or the whole food?
For me, I take both because it is beneficial to me personally. But if I could only choose one?
The answer seems pretty obvious.
The sardines not only come with a massive and beneficial omega 3 profile, but they also come with a huge amount of protein and other beneficial nutrients as well, all in just a 2.8 ounce serving that is not expensive, tastes good (don’t let sardines’ reputation sway you), is very satiating for its size due to its fat and protein content, and makes for a great storable food due to its long shelf life.
Sardines are Proof: Small Changes Yield Big Results
These little fish that don’t get the respect they deserve also prove just how beneficial simple choices in our diets can be. We don’t always need complete, difficult overhauls. A small change here and there can be life changing.
And sardines are not the only food in the world that you can say these things about. Just imagine an entire diet sprinkled with high-potency foods like this that are also affordable.
I know it’s getting harder and harder every day to imagine that “affordable” part, but these simple sardines go to show you that there are still options out there. (Clementines or tangerines for a quick boost of vitamin C and flavonoids, apples for potential disease prevention, and more.)
The more of these quick, simple, easy additions we can sprinkle into our diets, the healthier we become.
So take a look around your cupboards and see where you might be able to add in a food like sardines and take care of a lot of your nutritional needs in a small package. You might be surprised at what you find!
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