Essential guide to omega 3 health benefits

Here at Glyco, we like to think about the whole package. We know that living well with diabetes is not just about controlling your blood glucose levels, it is also about being heart smart. You probably don’t need us to tell you that omega 3 fats are good for our heart when eaten as part of a healthy diet, but exactly how do they help?

– They keep our blood vessels bouncy. The last thing we need are hardened blood vessels which are prone to damage.

– They stop our blood from being sticky. This helps to prevent clots which can lead to heart attacks and strokes

– They also help to lower bad fats called triglycerides in our blood, this will also help our heart.

Did you know that some forms of omega 3 can also provide you with vitamins A & D, improve your memory and reduce your risk of depression?

Impressive hey?!                                                                                             salmon-teriyaki


So you may be asking, ‘Where can we get omega 3?’

The most common source of omega 3 fats are oily fish. By oily fish, we do not mean a fish that has simply been fried, it needs to be a fish that contains the healthy omega 3 oils within the flesh. Here are some examples of oily fish to choose from.

Salmon                                                                      Longtail shad (terubok)

Tuna                                                                           Sardine

Trout                                                                          Herring

Pilchards                                                                   Kipper

Eel                                                                              Whitebait

Tuna (fresh only)                                                     Anchovies

Swordfish                                                                  Bloater

Cacha                                                                         Carp

Hilsa                                                                           Jack fish

Katla                                                                           Orange roughy

Pangas                                                                       Mackerel (tenggiri papan/batang)


If you cannot identify the fish in your dish, here are 2 tips to help you:

1. As obvious as it may sound, ask the vendor what fish it is.

2. Most fish high in omega 3 have dark flesh as oppose to white flesh fish, this can be a useful tool to help you identify oily fish.

Having 1 or 2 of portions (100g each) of omega 3 a week can do wonders for your health. As well as the omega 3, it contains much less saturated fats than meat and meat products which is great!

But what if you are vegetarian?

Fear not, there are vegetarian sources of omega 3 too. Try including nuts e.g. walnuts, seeds e.g linseeds or sunflower seeds, canola oil, soya and soya products e.g. oil, tofu, soya milk oil and green leafy vegetables. But be wary of the quantities, many of these foods are high in energy and can easily affect your weight.

You may have seen some omega 3 supplements in supermarkets and health shops. Sometimes people will ask if they are as effective. Current evidence and guidelines do not recommend the routine use of omega 3 supplements – they do not seem to have the same heart protective effect.



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