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Fish Oil Foolishness

Posted on 06/6/2013

Eating fish oil is good for you...or, is it?

Fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids) derived naturally from fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines is good for you, however the supplements found in health food stores and elsewhere is not.  This has been validated over and over again by prestigious medical researchers who have proven these supplements are not the same as eating a serving of fatty fish. So, why does this popular (and rather expensive) supplement continue to be taken every day for a variety of health ailments? I’m not sure why people would continue to throw away perfectly good money when it has been proved that fish oil pills do not work...period!

Most recently a large study in Italy involving more than 12,000 people and was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, proved that people who take fish oil capsules to help with their heart problems are not helped at all. This is coupled with their regimen of medicines they are already taking to help lower heart risks in people who have heart failure or who have already suffered a heart attack.

A study of nearly 70,000 people published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on September 12, 2012, showed fish oil supplements did not reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke or sudden death.

Conversely, a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on April 2, 2013 proved that healthy older people who ate at least two servings of fatty fish a week were less likely to suffer fatal heart rhythm changes or strokes. This long-term study tracked 2,000 senior citizens for 16 years and measured their blood levels of omega-3 fats.

However, a 2010 study failed to prove fish oil supplements prevented flare-ups of atrial fibrillation, a common heart rhythm problem.

There are many more studies that prove the ineffectiveness of fish oil supplements. So, you decide what is right for you and your health. I say, eat fish at least twice per week instead of taking a pill. I have always believed in obtaining the proper nutrients your body needs through whole foods instead of pills. You cannot simply pop a pill to mask a bad diet, it doesn’t work that way.

The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice per week for its heart healthy benefits. That is what we offer here at Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating, so if you aren’t sure how to prepare fish or simply too busy to do the shopping and planning, let us do it for you!


Seattle Sutton, BSN, RN

She made healthy eating her mission in life long before anyone else did, in hopes of helping her own obese father. A registered nurse by training and entrepreneur at heart, she lives, eats and breathes everything about healthy eating and helping to improve people’s eating habits and overall health. She enjoys never having to bother with grocery shopping, cooking and counting calories. Her favorite SSHE meal, although it’s hard to pick just one, is the Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Sauce.

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