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Optimizing Your Omega-3s this Spring

What are omega-3s? Why are they important?

Omega-3 fatty acids have been the talk of the town in recent years, and this is for a good reason! These fatty acids help protect the heart from disease by decreasing inflammation in the body. These fats help reduce the risk of heart disease and arrhythmias, and eating foods high in omega-3s can lower cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting blood sugar, and blood pressure. In pregnant women, consuming foods high in omega-3s or supplementing omega-3s helps support brain development in the baby.

When it comes to omega-3s, EPA and DHA – the marine-based omega-3s – are most important, not just for your heart or during pregnancy, but throughout your entire life. While these fats are important, many people are deficient; it has been found 95% of Americans, and 80% of people worldwide, are not getting enough EPA and DHA omega-3s. This is partially because our bodies cannot make these fatty acids, so have to eat them.

What foods have omega-3s?

Fatty fish, like salmon and mackerel, have high levels of omega-3s. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend two, 4-ounce servings of fish a week; try to get one of these servings from a fish high in omega-3s to help fight inflammation in the body and help protect your heart. Other foods, like nuts and seeds, have omega-3s in them, but not as much as fish. Supplementation of omega-3s may be needed if you do not eat a lot of fish, if you are vegetarian, or if you are allergic to fish.

Try out this delicious salmon recipe to get your daily dose of omega-3s!

Where can I get my omega-3 levels tested?

In the month of March, Hy-Vee dietitians are offering a limited amount of free omega-3 screenings to the public. To sign up, visit https://www.hy-vee.com/health/hy-vee-dietitians/ or reach out to your local Hy-Vee registered dietitian Audrey Williams by calling 417-881-1950 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a screening today.

Audrey Williams, RD, LD, received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Missouri State University. Audrey loved the Springfield, Missouri area so much that she decided to stay at Missouri State University to finish her dietetic internship and Master of Science in Dietetics. As her knowledge of food and nutrition grew, so did her passion for educating individuals in realistic changes to help their well-being. Audrey wholeheartedly believes food and nutrition knowledge should be readily available and accessible to the public and felt Hy-Vee was the perfect fit. Audrey is dedicated to helping every individual with their personal goals as well as making sure they feel comfortable with the process at all times.

Along with her passion for food, Audrey enjoys experimenting with new recipes, spending time with her family, watching true crime stories and working out. Audrey is excited to bring her knowledge and passion to the Springfield, Missouri community!

Hours: Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

To contact Audrey, call her at (417) 881-1950 or email her at [email protected].

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