Whole fish is the gold standard for getting your omega-3s. Health authorities around the globe believe you should eat at least one to two servings of fatty fish per week, which should average between 7 to 12 ounces, or about 39 lbs. of fish per year. Fish contain valuable healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and proteins.
But the most important reason you should eat fish is because of the long-chain omega-3s they contain. More specifically, the omega-3s EPA and DHA. These omega-3s are among the most researched nutrients in the world.
Did you know there are more studies on omega-3s than on Ibuprofen, Lipitor, Viagra, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin C?
A population with sub-optimal omega-3 levels
When it comes to fish consumption, we often don’t eat the amount we’re told, for a variety of reasons:
1) Buying seafood can be expensive.
2) There are just other foods you’d rather eat.
In fact, if you look at the United States, the average consumer eats just 14 lbs. of fish per year, compared to 82 lbs. of chicken, 57 lbs. of beef and 46 pounds of pork. This leaves consumers short of roughly 25 lbs. of fish per year, when you consider what health authorities recommend, and what is actually consumed in the diet.
And the worst part? It leaves us with low omega-3 levels, which can lead to all kinds of health problems. According to the global organization for EPA and DHA omega-3, GOED, 84% of the world’s population lives in countries that are omega-3 deficient.
The good news is mother nature has already come up with some suitable solutions. One of the healthiest fish, the wild Atlantic salmon, delivers long-chain omega-3s EPA and DHA in a mixture of both phospholipids and triglycerides, just as nature intended.
Phospholipids and triglycerides play important roles in the delivery of omega-3s, but they differ in structure and function.
Krill – a source of phospholipids
Krill live in every ocean around the globe. There are literally trillions of them. But the heartiest live in the Southern Ocean, which is considered one of the cleanest oceans on Earth.
Krill are at the bottom of the food chain, which is another reason they are so highly regarded as being such a clean source of nutrients.
The krill in the Southern Ocean, about the size of a paperclip, also deliver long-chain omega-3s EPA and DHA in a mixture of phospholipids and triglycerides, just like the wild Atlantic salmon. When krill is further processed into oil, this combination of nutrients remains intact.
You can read more here about phospholipids and triglycerides, and what is so significant about the way they deliver omega-3s.
Boosting the Omega-3 Index
Studies have shown that krill oil preferentially boosts the Omega-3 Index compared to fish oil, even though krill oil delivers lower amounts of omega-3s EPA and DHA on a gram-per-gram basis compared to fish oil.
The main reason this happens is because of the phospholipids and their ability to carry omega-3s EPA and DHA into the blood more efficiently. On top of that, only krill oil provides, in addition to omega-3 fatty acids, the essential nutrient choline, which is crucial for cell structure, functioning and signaling. Choline, like omega-3 fatty acids, contributes to cardiovascular, lymphatic and cognitive health.
Astaxanthin – stabilizing and preserving krill oil
Astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant, is present in krill oil naturally for a reason: To serve as a natural stabilizer of the omega-3 fatty acids. It also serves as a natural preservative, in addition to providing the signature red color of krill oil.
So why is krill more fish than fish oil?
Krill oil and wild Atlantic salmon deliver omega-3s in a mixture of phospholipids and triglycerides. Fish oil doesn’t. It’s as simple as that.