Monday, February 6, 2012

The 'Other" Omega -3- Fatty acids

According to Wikipedia there are  11 forms of Omega- 3 -Fatty acids.

Three of those have received the most attention as being beneficial to our health. These include Alpha- Linolenic Acid (ALA),  EPA and  DHA.

I did not see ALA ( alpha - linolenic acid) listed as a primary ingredient on the packages I looked at , so it must fall into the "other" category.

ALA  cannot be over looked because it is the parent fatty acid to EPA and DHA.

Alpha -linolenic acid is found in vegetables such as rape seed used to produce canola oil, flax seed, walnuts, TOFU , spinach, Romaine lettuce ,soybeans, turnip greens, brussels sprouts, raspberries green beans and others. I generally think of the sources of ALA as Beans, Greens and Nuts.

Our bodies can convert Alpha- Linolenic Acid to EPA and DHA,however;
 This conversion process is not efficient so we tend to delegate this job to fatty cold water fish , such as  Sardines , salmon , Cod , Tuna ,Herring ,shrimp and scollops .

In summary eating greens,beans,nuts (especially walnuts) and cold water fish is not a bad idea. It reminds me of something called the Mediterranean diet.

                                                                   Have fun eat healthy and defeat diabetes
                                                                   David Calder,MD

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Your comments and questions are appreciated. David Calder,MD