The fuss, in my opinion, is due to a huge misunderstanding--and the ubiquitous perception that the only good source of omega-3 is fish or fish oil supplements. It is true that you can get omega-3 fatty acids from seafood, but it is also true that there are healthier sources.
So what’s not healthy about seafood? Three words: fat, cholesterol and pollutants. Equally important is what is missing: fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Like all animal products, they have none of those powerful nutrients that are so vital to our health.
I recently heard someone ask Dr. T. Colin Campbell (author of The China Study) this question. “If you’re not eating seafood, where do you get your omega-3s and how do you know if you’re getting enough?”
He explained that the ratio of the “healthy” omega-3 and the not-so-healthy omega-6 is more important. We get lots of omega-6 from our toxic Western diet of meat and dairy three meals a day--thereby increasing the amount of omega-3 needed to have a healthy ratio. But, if we include lots of whole plants in our diet, our need for omega-3 drops so much that we don’t even have to worry about it.
So why does your medical doctor eat lots of seafood and why does she advise you to do the same? It’s because we live in a world where over 90% of us are eating a toxic diet with lots of omega-6; hence, we need a lot of omega-3 in our diet to improve our ratio. Further, most doctors have not yet learned about the power of plant-based nutrition to prevent or even reverse most chronic diseases.
The much healthier option is to consume a diet that is rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. If we’re eating mostly whole plants, we won’t need much omega-3 and can easily get all that we need from plant-foods like walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds.
You may be asking, “Why doesn’t my doctor know that?” It’s because medical doctors receive little, if any, formal training in nutrition. But the good news is that there is a growing group of docs who are learning it on their own--and two of them recently influenced former President Bill Clinton to adopt a diet of mostly whole plants with no meat and no dairy. And by doing so, he has reversed his chronic heart disease.