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How Do Omega-3 Fatty Acids Affect Cholesterol?
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Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly found in
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How Do Omega-3 Fatty Acids Affect Cholesterol?
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Hi, I’m Laureen Wallravin, Certified Nutritional Therapist and founder of RelishedFood.com. I'm here for About.com today to answer the question: How do Omega-3 fatty acids affect cholesterol?

Omega-3 May Help Lower Cholesterol

According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Consistently high levels of cholesterol can contribute to narrowing of the arteries, and eventually heart disease. So what role do Omega-3 fatty acids play in this dynamic? Let's take a closer look.

Contrary to popular belief, not all fats are bad for us. DHA and EPA are the polyunsaturated fatty acids found in Omega-3s, and have not been found to cause atherosclerosis. In fact, as highlighted on About.com’s Health site, recent studies show some promising effects of Omega-3 fatty acids in lowering cholesterol levels in the body. Over the course of these investigations, ingesting between two and four grams of Omega-3 fatty acids each day resulted in a 25-to-45 percent drop in triglyceride levels.

How to Introduce Omega-3 Fatty Acids into Your Diet

Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly found in foods such as nuts, flax seeds, and fatty cold water fish, like salmon. For those who don't eat enough foods rich in Omega-3, fish oil supplements are a popular and readily available alternative.

As Omega-3 fatty acids may slightly raise LDL, or “bad” cholesterol levels in the body, you should consult your physician to determine the proper dosage. Cardiovascular health is dependent on many factors, including one's lifestyle choices. A diet that includes the proper amount of Omega-3 fatty acids is one key to maintaining a healthy heart.

Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.
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