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It seems that today there is much ado about something called omega-3. We have heard that it is found in fish and seafood. Omega-3 is the reason, in fact, that seafood is said to provide great health benefits. It's why some fish are known as being heart healthy seafood. So what is omega-3 and where can you find it?
Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid. It occurs naturally in fish considered to be "fatty." Omega-3 is important in our cell growth and development. It has been shown to decrease risks of cardiovascular disease. For those who already have cardiovascular disease, it has been shown to decrease irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias), triglyceride levels, and lower the growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque, which eventually leads to the hardening of the arteries.
There are two types of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish: EPA (eicosapentaenoic) and DHA (docosahexaenoic). Fatty fish that contain these two types of Omega-3 fatty acids are trout, albacore tuna, salmon, sardines, and herring. To get even more health benefits from these fatty fish, prepare them in a heart healthy method such as broiling, poaching, steaming, or grilling.
How much omega-3 is recommended in the average daily diet? The American Heart Association recommends we consume .5 to 1.8 grams a day. This can either come from fatty fish or supplements such as omega-3 fish oil.