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Question from a reader: Hi Lauren, do you know anything about Barlean’s Omega Swirl Fish Oil? I love the mango-peach flavor, so I hope it’s good for me. I can’t take those gigantic fish oil pills. Gag! I’m taking the fish oil for my cholesterol and want to be sure I’m getting my money’s worth. Thanks!
RH Answer: Hello! Thanks so much for your question! Here at RH we definitely recommend balancing your intake of fatty acid ratios for various health benefits (like balanced cholesterol, as you’ve mentioned), and one way to do that is to take an omega-3 supplement. I hadn’t heard much about this particular product, so I took a look at the website to get more information. It looks like this is a decent product; however, one critique I have is that there are a lot of additives listed in the ingredients.
Additionally, the levels of DHA and EPA (the whole reason you want to take the fish oil supplement) are relatively low. The nutrition facts state that 2 teaspoons offers 360mg of EPA and 360mg of DHA. While there is no current standard recommended for this supplement, most research recommends taking 2,000-4,000mg for cardiovascular benefits (amongst other pros). That being said, this might not be the best bang for your buck.
My health consultant recommended that I take Health from the Sun Pure Fish Oil (which comes in different flavors as well). There are less additives than the Barlean’s brand. Furthermore, 1 teaspoon (as opposed to Barlean’s 2 teaspoon serving size) provides 715mg of EPA and 470mg of DHA. Thus, instead of taking about 10 teaspoons of Barlean’s daily to get your recommended dosage, you would only need to take 4 teaspoons of Health from the Sun PFO. You can see that this is likely a more cost-effective method as well!
That being said, it is also critical that you do what works for you (just be sure the fish oil is molecularly distilled in order to ensure that you aren’t consuming heavy metals and other toxins). It is more important that you are taking something to balance the ratio of your fatty acid intake than get rid of the supplement all together. Perhaps you don’t like the flavors that Health from the Sun offers, or maybe you don’t like to order supplements online and your local store doesn’t sell this product (although if that’s the case, you should ask them to stock it!). So, if Barlean’s is working for you, I’d stick with it (just try to take the recommended dosage)!
I hope this answer was helpful! I will also leave you with a yummy Orange Sherbet Smoothie (made with orange flavored fish oil) – let us know if you like it (don’t worry if you don’t have all the ingredients recommended – feel free to make it your own!).
*Disclaimer: Fish oil is not for everyone… some people have fish allergies, while others have health issues that could make this supplement dangerous. Do check in with your health care provider prior to starting any new supplements.
With health and love,