Fishy tales

| Post published on June 3, 2010
minute reading time

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that vegan women have significantly more omega-3 fats (the good fats we are constantly being told to eat) in their blood than fish-eaters, meat-eaters, and lacto-ovo vegetarians. Vegan men had slightly lower levels than vegan women but the same pattern was observed in the other groups as well and was thought to be linked to female hormones influencing the metabolism to a certain extent. An astonishing 14,422 men and women aged 39 to 78 participated in this study. The ground-breaking results suggest not only that oily fish are not the best source of omega-3 fats but that the recommendations for fish consumption might be removed in the future as the world’s oceans are being depleted and plant sources of omega-3s are perfectly suitable and advisable. The best plant sources of omega-3s are: flaxseed (linseed) and flaxseed oil, hempseed and hempseed oil, rapeseed oil for cooking, walnuts and walnut oil, soya beans and soya oil, dark green leafy vegetables (eg broccoli).

Welch et al., 2010. Dietary intake and status of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in a population of fish-eating and non-fish-eating meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans and the precursor-product ratio of α-linolenic acid to long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: results from the EPIC-Norfolk cohort. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 92 (5)1040-1051.

About the author
Dr. Justine Butler
I joined Viva! as a health campaigner in 2005 after graduating from Bristol University with a PhD in molecular biology. My scientific training helped me research and write numerous reports, guides and fact sheets for Viva! including Meat the Truth, Fish-Free for Life, One in Nine (breast cancer and diet) and the substantial report on the detrimental health effects of consuming dairy; White Lies. This accompanied Viva!’s report The Dark Side of Dairy which spelt out the inherent cruelty of dairy farming. We were the first UK group to take on the dairy industry in this way, and many of our supporters go vegan after reading these reports.

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