South Beach Diet - Omega-3?

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02-04-2005, 10:06 AM
Hi, all!

I've read studies showing that mothers who consumed Omega-3s during pregnancy have children who lack high cholesterol, even if it runs in their families. Since it definitely runs in mine, I eat a serving of flaxseed (2 Tbsp) every day. I also hope that it will help with my health.

However, flaxseed is very high in calories and fat. I'm worried that I might be eating too many calories to lose, and I have to lose the weight before I can get pregnant. Most fish is out of the question for me as an Omega-3 source because of the mercury present in them...that can stay in my body for a year and harm the baby when I get pregnant. I participated in a study through Greenpeace and found that my levels of mercury (even when trying to refrain from most fish) were above normal but not high enough for treatment.

So, that said, I'm trying to figure out how much Omega-3 is recommended for good health. The serving of flaxseed has 2400 mg. The FDA says you shouldn't eat more that 3 g or you may have excessive bleeding. ( :yikes: ) I'm not finding anything from a reputable source (i.e. not someone selling something) that tells how much is recommended. Do any of you have an idea?


02-04-2005, 10:11 AM
Okay, another question. I know, the government rarely makes sense, but look at these two statements from the FDA website:

September 8, 2004:

Q: Are omega-3 fatty acids essential to a healthy diet?

A: Alpha-linolenic acid is the only essential omega-3 fatty acid and is found in vegetable oil, e.g. flax seed. EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids are synthesized in the body and are not essential although there is supportive but not conclusive research to show that these fatty acids are beneficial in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease.

January/February 2003:
Since 2000, the American Heart Association's dietary guidelines have recommended that healthy adults eat at least two servings of fish per week, particularly fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon. These fish contain two omega-3 fatty acids--eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids (EPA and DHA). A third kind, alpha-linolenic acid, is less potent and comes from plants, including tofu and other forms of soybeans, and nuts and seeds and their oils, including canola, walnut and flaxseed oils.

:?: Oy! I know one is more recent than the other, but in a year and a half they completely changed their thinking??? :(

02-04-2005, 05:08 PM
The thing about flax seeds and other seeds, nuts, advocado and olives is that they are very high in fat but contain healthy fats and your body needs fat to function. The trick is to offset it with food that is high in bulk and low in calories e.g. vegies. Sometimes if I am really hungry mid afternoon I will have a huge salad with some sunflower seeds on top. This is a high fibre, bulky snack (so will fill me up) containing some protein and fat but not enough calories to slow down my weight loss. If you snack on flax seeds all day long you won't lose any weight, but one portion a day is good. This is why flax seeds are restricted.

02-04-2005, 05:28 PM
Chick, I do understand. I don't snack on them...they have to be ground in order to get any nutrients. Flax seeds are very small, about the size of sesame seeds. You pass them straight through your body if you eat them whole.

I don't mind restricting them...I eat exactly one serving (2 Tbsp) each day. What I'd like to do is get their benefits without the calories. I need to know if a serving contains more Omega 3 than I need, so I could eat less flax seed and cut more calories.

Your advice is very sound though, chick. :yes: The salad is a great idea if you can eat it without dressing. Otherwise you have fat from the dressing and fat in the seeds...and that adds up--unless it counts as your snack? :?: