Being a sports nutritionist, along with my other certifications, I am asked all the time about nutrition, specifically supplements. My initial answer is always, “Tell me what you are eating”. I say this before I even address supplements. So many people want to rely on supplements instead of eating a balanced, nutrient dense diet. I understand that eating clean and healthy at times isn’t sexy or exciting, but it is such a key component to achieving health, fitness and body composition goals.
When I do recommend a supplement (which is infrequently) one of the few that I am a firm believer in is fish oil. The benefits of fish oil are numerous to a variety of body components: brain, eye, skin, cardiovascular, and joint integrity. I personally like to emphasize salmon oil above all fish oils. Salmon oil is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which are the beneficial or “good” fat (I am sure you know by now not all fat is BAD and not all fats are created equally). Fish oil is also a great way to boost your HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol).
Diets containing moderate amounts of quality fat (Mediterranean diets) have been found extremely beneficial for weight loss and improved body composition versus diets that emphasize just low-fat foods. Supplementing fish oil is a great way to get the quality fat your body needs, especially if you diet isn’t as well-balanced as you would hope. It is better to spend a little more on fish oil since generally the better quality fish oil is better digested and you aren’t having fish flavored indigestion (which is not pleasant). Also, read the label and look for the fish oil that contains higher levels of EPA and DHA. These are key essential fats in Omega-3 oils crucial to your health.
As I stated above, eating a well-rounded, nutrient rich diet is your best option, but how many of you are willing or able to eat fish, specifically salmon every day? Very few, I suspect. Daily supplementation of fish oil is a great alternative to getting the key nutrients included in fish.