To its credit, the American Heart Association (AHA) finally acknowledged the role omega-3 fatty acids can play in preventing heart disease. And last month, they even began recommending the consumption of fish twice a week to increase omega-3 intake. And that’s a start — especially since most people in the U.S. hardly eat any fish at all.
The AHA claims this amount will reduce your risk of congestive heart failure, coronary heart disease, sudden cardiac arrest, and ischemic stroke.
But based on all the science, I still think that’s a very paltry recommendation.
It reminds me of a classic line from the movie Jaws, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”
In other words, you’re going to need a much larger “catch of the day” to actually enjoy all the health benefits — including a dramatic reduction in your risk of chronic disease. And today, I’ll tell you exactly how much you should really be getting. So, let’s dive right in and get wet…
AHA recommendation only goes so far
Instead of recommending a specific daily dose of omega-3s (through fish, supplementation, or both), the best the AHA could do is provide a vague recommendation to “eat two 3.5-ounce portions of non-fried, flaked fish per week.”
But they didn’t get any more specific than that. (Who ever said cardiologists really know anything about nutritional science anyway?)
So, let’s break it down ourselves…
Fatty fish, such as salmon, contain the most heart-healthy omega-3s. And one 3.5 oz serving of salmon provides roughly 2,200 mg of omega-3s.
By contrast, a leaner fish like cod contains roughly 200 mgs of omega-3s. (Although cod is still an excellent source of protein, which is also important.)
But according to the science, even 2,200 mg of omega-3s twice a week isn’t nearly enough to actually lower your risk of a heart-related disease.
I certainly want to give the AHA some credit, but it seems like they don’t want to put their cardiologists out of business quite yet…
Missing the boat on supplements
The AHA really missed a huge opportunity here, especially considering that most of the research on omega-3s comes from studies on supplements, not dietary fish.
In fact, research on omega-3 supplements shows an impressive list of benefits, which include improvements in:
- triglyceride levels (blood fats)
- heart electrical conduction (which controls your heartbeat)
- blood vessel cells
- blood pressure
- chronic inflammation
The bottom line? Unless you eat fish every single day, you need to supplement daily with a high-quality fish oil.
Furthermore, the science and clinical medicine show you need to take fish oil in food quantities (grams), not just in typical supplement quantities (milligrams).
My sensible, science-backed omega-3 recommendations
To learn which ratio of omega-3s doses (from seafood and supplements) would work best for you, check out the lead story in the June 2018 issue of Insiders’ Cures newsletter (“Why I’m upping my recommendations for this ‘controversial’ supplement”). If you’d like to become a subscriber, just click here.
In addition to taking a high-quality fish oil supplement daily, try to eat plenty of wild-caught seafood. And remember, the majority of salmon sold at supermarkets is farmed in the Atlantic, not fresh-caught in the Pacific, so it only has about one-tenth the nutritional value. For some guidance on how to find fresh, local, nutritionally dense seafood, follow these simple tips.
For breakfast, you can enjoy some eggs with crab meat (or “Eggs Chesapeake,” as my colleagues in Maryland like to call it). For lunch, have a shrimp salad sandwich or salmon atop mixed greens. And dinner can include some tasty mackerel or albacore tuna filets. You can even cook up several types of seafood at once for the most nutritional content — try my Classic New England Seafood Boil, a favorite recipe of mine from my near my hometown in Gloucester, Massachusetts. I’ll give you the recipe later this month!
P.S. If you’d like to learn more about how you can prevent heart disease and lower your blood pressure naturally — and without the use of dangerous heart medications — refer to my Heart Attack and Prevention Protocol. Click here for more information, or sign up today.
“AHA Recommends Fish Twice Weekly for Healthy Heart,” Medscape (www.www.medscape.org) 7/6/2018