Ask The Expert: How do I prevent Omega-3's from Oxidizing?

In our first Ask The Expert post, we discuss a common question we hear a lot about fish oil and omega-3s: "How do I make sure my omega-3 supplements don't oxidize?" Send your personal health and nutrition questions to us by posting here in the comments, on our facebook page, or instagram!  
Angela Shurina is a certified Health 360 Nutrition Performance Coach with10+ years of experience coaching individuals and groups around the world to help people experience greater energy every day, re-shape their bodies, and optimize their performance to live fully and achieve more. 

How do I make sure my omega-3 supplements don't oxidize?

Here’s the problem with most keto practitioners that I’ve noticed working with a few clients of mine: Being immersed in keto culture makes many folks believe that fat is some sort of magic nutrient.

The working principle many people operate on is that as long as you eat enough of “good”, keto-approved fats, your health will thrive and everything will fix itself, once you are “keto-adapted”.

Many keto practitioners believe that as long as your carb count is low enough, you can eat all the fat you want. This is the generally-accepted rationale: 

  • Omega-3s – the more, the better
  • Omega-6s are best to be avoided at all costs
  • Saturated fat is a wrongly-accused now-redeemed angel

As a nutritionist, I care not just about how much fat my keto clients eat, I also care about a scientifically-sound balance of different fats.

So, let’s take a closer look at Omega-3s and Omega-6s – both are crucial for the health of our cell membranes. 

Cell membranes need to be good at deciding what goes and stays in our cells and what gets excreted. And more of these fats in our cell membranes isn’t always better.

That’s because even though Omega-3s are considered to be “miracle” anti-inflammatory brain-essential fatty acids, they can turn “bad”, pro-inflammatory, and/or counter-productive for health when they get oxidized. 

If you’ve ever bought Omega-3 supplements you may notice that they should be stored cold and in an airtight container.

Did you know that Omega-3s oxidize not only in the bottle, but also in our cell membranes?

This means that Omega-3s can be admitted into our cells but then just linger as oxidized waste. In order to prevent oxidation in our bodies, the Omega-3s require the services of the humble protector and antioxidant extraordinaire: vitamin E.

This seems simple enough, the problem is that there are very few foods with a substantial amount of vitamin E and most vitamin E supplements don’t work all that well. The only way to make sure you get all the benefits from all the anti-inflammatory Omega-3s is to eat some food that’s high in vitamin E and quite low in other unstable fats like Omega-6s.

There are just a couple of natural whole foods with this specific nutrition profile––almonds are one of them! One ounce of almonds (what you get eating one Belichka bar) covers more than 50% of your RDA for vitamin E. 

It’s essential to consume this vitamin E to protect Omega-3s in all that fish oil we take so that it can do its job as an anti-inflammatory agent to keep us brain-healthy! Omega-3's alone will oxidize and not get the job done. 

With Belichka bars you aren’t just getting an all-natural good-for-you totally keto delicious bar to meet your macros and keep hunger at bay... You’re also protecting your dear and essential anti-inflammatory Omega-3s, keeping them from turning evil!

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