Many consumers are asking an important question: Are the omega-3 fats in fish the same as those found in flax? The answer is that omega-3 fats are like siblings - they all belong to the same family, but their chemical makeup and some of their health benefits differ.
As omega-3 fats are gaining popularity because of their association with healthier brains and hearts, improved mood, lowered inflammation, fewer cardiac arrhythmias, reduced joint pain, lowered triglycerides, and healthier skin and hair, it is important to know the difference between different types of omega-3 fats.
Flaxseeds contain a particular omega-3 fat called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) which is different from the two found in fish and fish oil, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). The three different types are unique but in the end, have many of the same results. Flaxseeds are unique, however, because the human body actually ends up converting the ALA into DHA and EPA meaning that by consuming flaxseeds, you are actually getting all three!
Flax and Fish - Both Offer Good Nutrition
Flax is rich in ALA, the essential omega-3 fat. Flax also contains dietary fiber and lignans. Fish are a source of high-quality protein and contain omega-3 fats. Fatty fish are rich in DHA. Both flax and fish contain important nutrients and belong in a healthy eating plan.
The big difference between the two really comes down to one thing - sustainability. Flax is a sustainable crop. Fish may not be. For today's North American consumer, the decision to eat fish is mainly one of personal preference - a situation that may change in the coming years if the global demand for fish continues. This being said, North American Nutrition is always guaranteed to be non GMO, farm to table fresh and consistent, which may be untrue of farmed fish.