The Good Kind of Fat to Eat

You have probably heard that omega-3s are good for you, particularly the omega-3 fat DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Surprisingly, despite all of the reported health benefits of DHA, the American population is not getting enough of this important nutrient.

To understand this healthy fat better, nutrition and wellness expert, Monica Bearden, answers some common questions.

Monica Bearden, a registered dietitian

Why do we need DHA?

DHA is important to both adults and children for healthy nerve cells in the brain and eyes.

Why are we not getting enough?

While the number of fortified foods available with DHA is increasing, it is sparse in our food supply. Children are especially at risk of a shortfall because when they are weaned from DHA-rich breast milk or infant formula, the foods and beverages that replace breast milk and formula are low in DHA, if they contain any at all.

What are good sources of DHA?

Good sources of DHA are cold-water fatty fish like canned salmon, canned tuna, wild Alaskan sockeye or Alaskan pink salmon. If you’re not a fish lover, there are many foods on grocery store shelves that are fortified with a vegetarian form of DHA made from algae called life’sDHA. For example, you can now find yogurt, milk, juices, breads, soymilk and nutrition bars with this vegetarian DHA. Make sure to look for “DHA” on the label.

What is your favorite way of getting the DHA you need each day?

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