Many health practitioners strongly recommend the use of fish oil for reducing high cholesterol levels.
But there are literally hundreds of different kinds of fish oil available in the market today and each one is made up of different blends.
Each fish oil blend will contain different amounts of those beneficial fatty acids that the human body needs for healthy development.
To find out which fish oils will work best for lowering cholesterol levels, it’s firstly important to understand how they work within the body.
Triglycerides are the main cause of high cholesterol. They are fatty deposits that are found in the bloodstream from the liver.
When the body has reached its capacity for storing nutrients and energy from carbohydrates and glucose, the remainder turns into triglycerides (bad fat) and they are released into the bloodstream. This causes the blood to become thicker, which creates a higher risk of clotting in the arteries.
Many people who suffer from heart disease or are at a higher risk of heart problems have a higher level of triglycerides in their system. Keeping these levels as low as possible will greatly reduce heart complications and heart disease.
One of the main methods to reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream is to reduce the amount of carbohydrates in your diet. Many doctors and nutritionists recommend some amount of carbohydrates but do advise smaller amounts compared to proteins and other nutrients.
Reducing carbohydrates in a regular healthy diet and pairing it with fish oil supplements is one of the best methods to lower triglyceride levels for a healthier body.
Since triglycerides are known as bad fat in the body, one of the things that many people do is dramatically reduce all fat in their diets.
But this can be a very harmful thing to do since the human body does require a certain amount of dietary fats (also known as good fats). Such as those available in avocados, soy beans and fatty fish like salmon. While it can be a very healthy choice to cut out some fats, it’s also important to include the good fats as well.
Good fats that the body needs for healthy development are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, which can be found in many healthy foods. Take a look at some of the best sources of good fats:
- Oils: canola, olive, peanut, sesame, soybean and sunflower
- Nuts: almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans and walnuts
- Seeds: flaxseeds, pumpkin, sesames and sunflower
- Soy: soybeans, tofu, soymilk
- Fatty Fish: mackerel, salmon, trout, tuna, sardines
Bad fats are known as saturated and trans fats. They are found in many different foods that are readily available each day but should be generally avoided or minimised. We all know where bad fats come from:
- Fast food
- Whole fat dairy products
- Commercial snacks: cookies, cakes, crackers and potato chips
- Fried foods
Can I Use Any Fish Oil To Reduce Cholesterol?
There are many types of fish oils available in the market today and each one will contain a different level of omega 3 fatty acids.
[You can read more about omega 3 in How Many Types Of Omega 3 Fatty Acids Are There?]
Each fish oil brand will also be of a different grade, which will affect the way a body reacts to the oils. If you are trying to reduce cholesterol, not all fish oils will help the body.
Watch out for the term ‘Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil‘. Technically it doesn’t really mean anything, and is more of a marketing term than an actual specification.
What Else To Look For
When looking for fish oil that will help lower cholesterol, make sure there is a relatively high amount of omega 3, with at least 300mg of DHA. This is the fatty acid that’s most important for reducing triglycerides in the bloodstream and promoting a healthy heart.
I don’t really need to tell you to look out for quality. If you want to be sure you are getting the benefits then you really do need to buy a trusted brand. But quality does NOT mean expensive.
In my search for the best brand of fish oil to take, I’ve found that paying the highest price does not get you the best quality. The fish oil I buy is a lot cheaper than some, yet the quality is the best I have been able to find. (You can buy it online here)
It’s always wise of course to ask a professional health practitioner for a good dosage amount that would work best for you.