What are current public health recommendations for omega 3 fatty acids?
In 2002, the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences issued Adequate Intake (AI) levels for linolenic acid, the initial building block for all omega 3 fatty acids found in the body. For male teenagers and adult men, 1.6 grams per day were recommended, For female teenagers and adult women, the recommended amount was 1.1 grams per day. These guidelines do not seem as well-matched to the existing health research on omega 3 fatty acids as guidelines issued by the Workshop on the Essentiality of and Recommended Dietary Intakes (RDI) for Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids in 1999 sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This panel of experts recommended that people consume at least 2% of their total daily calories as omega-3 fats. To meet this recommendation, a person consuming 2000 calories per day should eat sufficient omega-3-rich foods to provide at least 4 grams of omega-3 fatty acids.
This goal can be easily met by adding just two foods to your diet: flaxseeds and wild-caught salmon. Two tablespoons of flaxseeds contain 3.5 grams of omega 3 fats, while a 4 ounce piece of salmon contains 1.5 grams of omega 3 fats.
Vegans and vegetarians relying on ALA as their only source of omega-3 fatty acids should increase their consumption of ALA-rich foods accordingly to ensure sufficient production its important derivatives, EPA and DHA.
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