fish oil cholesterol

Did You Know?

Switching to a low-fat, high fibre diet often controls triglyceride levels better than medications.


Fish Oil Cholesterol

To best understand the benefits that fish oil supplements and Omega 3 fatty acids have on your cholesterol levels, it is important to understand what cholesterol is. Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil have been proven effective in lowering triglycerides and raising HDL cholesterol levels, but until a person is knowledgeable to the differences, it is impossible to understand exactly how Omega 3 helps.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance (lipids) that is found within the body's tissues. Cholesterol is both produced by the body in the liver and ingested in the foods we eat, particularly meats, dairy products, and eggs.

There are three kinds of cholesterol that are important when checking cholesterol. LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) is "bad" cholesterol. It is the cholesterol that clings to the walls of arteries and can lead to heart attack or stroke. HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) is the "good" cholesterol that travels through the arteries carrying bad cholesterol back to the liver where it is removed in urine and fecal matter. Finally, triglycerides are also a bad fat found in the blood stream that usually is higher due to the foods we eat. Switching to a low-fat, high fibre diet often controls triglyceride levels better than medications.

Helps to Raise HDL levels

What you eat is important in controlling cholesterol levels. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats lower cholesterol levels. Monounsaturated fats are best. These are the oils found in olives, peanuts, and canola beans. Monounsaturated fats tend to lower LDL levels while not changing HDL levels. This is why many nutritionists promote olive oil so heavily. Polyunsaturated fats are found in corn, safflower, soybean, and sunflower oils. They can lower LDL levels, but they also lower HDL levels making them somewhat risky to use in excess.

Usually, saturated fats come from animal fats. They are found in milk, butter, cream, and meats. They are also found in coconut oil and palm oil. Saturated fats raise LDL levels making them rather troublesome. The trans fats that are created by manipulating vegetable oils (margarine, Crisco, etc.) are the most dangerous of all. Many food companies are now taking trans fats out of their products to help promote a healthier diet.

Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fish, walnuts, and flax seed. The oil in fish is used to create fish oil capsules that have a remarkable effect on raising a person's HDL levels and lowering triglyceride levels. For this reason, many health professionals are urging their patients to take fish oil supplements regularly. The standard dose is one gram per day; this often means taking three pills per day-one at each meal.

There is no doubt that fish oil supplements that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids will help raise HDL levels and lower triglyceride levels. For this reason alone, it is important for people to focus on adding fish oil supplements to their daily diet. This is only the first step, however, people should focus on a high fibre diet (oat bran has been proven to soak up LDL and remove it from the blood stream) with leaner cuts of meat (chicken breast, white fish, lean pork, and turkey) instead of fattier cuts like beef or duck. Switching one meal a week to a vegetarian entree can also make a huge difference.