hello everyone and welcome back to another short and sweet Q&A video today we are covering a much requested topic omega-3 fatty acids specifically what is the best way and healthiest way to get them so it's widely reported and widely known that omega-3 fatty acids are absolutely essential to our health they're so important for brain development and eye development in fetuses and babies and those fats are so important for our brains as we age our eyes our skin and so many other parts of our bodies what is often times just kind of like glossed over or ignored especially in the pursuit of selling supplements is that our bodies are perfectly capable of creating their own omega 3 6 and 9 fatty acids what we need in order to do so are two precursor fatty acids that we have to take in from our environment ie through our food in order to make those omega fatty acids those are called essential fatty acids those two are linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid aka LA and a la Sol in oleic acid LA is the precursor fatty acids that turn into omega-6 fatty acids alpha linolenic acid ala are the fatty acids that turn into omega-3 fatty acids the two primary types of omega-3 fatty acids that are touted in all of the research are EPA and DHA both of those are highly anti-inflammatory so omega-6s and omega-3s are what are called hu FAS or highly unsaturated fatty acids also called LCP UFAs which stands for long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid lots of abbreviations everywhere so the beautiful thing about our bodies is that we are able to consume LA and ala and our bodies are able to turn those into hylians and fatty acids through a process called desaturation desaturation is achieved through the use of desaturation enzymes so the interesting thing is that LA and ala they're both d saturated using the same desaturation enzymes so they actually end up competing with each other this is why you've probably heard that it's a good idea to have a good omega-3 ratio what you may not realize is that they're talking about precursor fatty acids so if you're eating more linoleic acid LA which turns into omega sixes then you are alpha linolenic acid which turns into omega threes your body is going to end up using most of its desaturation enzymes on the omega-6 fats so you're gonna end up with plenty of omega sixes but not a lot of omega threes so the interesting thing about omega-6 fatty acids is that they can actually be pro-inflammatory and cause inflammation throughout the body in fact a lot of anti-inflammatory pain medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories actually work because they block certain types of omega-6 fatty acids called arachidonic acid so that's why it's important to know which precursor fatty acids are generally found in what kinds of foods so a lot of foods are really rich in omega-6 fatty acids the primary source and our diets tends to be things like processed oils another major source of omega-6 precursor fatty acids and fully formed omega-6 fatty acids is meat and dairy omega-3 precursor fatty acids are really rich in foods like flax seeds especially chia seeds hemp seeds walnuts specifically there are also really prevalent in things like leafy greens which can become a great source of fatty acids if we're eating enough of them and of course you're probably waiting for me to mention fish as being a very rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which indeed it is fish and certain other animal foods are very rich in preformed omega-3 fatty acids which means that no desaturation has to happen within our bodies I'll be talking more about fish shortly when we talk about where we can find safe sources of omega-3 fatty acids but right now I want to be really clear that even though animal foods contain these fatty acids you absolutely don't need them to get adequate amounts even on a vegan or a plant-based diet which is becoming increasingly more popular it is so easy to get plenty of precursor fatty acids and it's especially easy to get plenty of precursor fatty acids in the appropriate ratio if you're eating a whole food plant-based vegan diet on that type of diet you're getting lots and lots of whole fresh foods which means that you're avoiding the processed foods that very commonly are just drenched in refined oils that are super high in omega sixes and instead opting for really healthy forms of fat like whole avocados and fresh nuts and seeds and a lot of us on this diet are really specific and purposeful about getting those foods that are really rich in the omega-3 precursor fatty acids like flax seeds and chia seeds and lots of leafy greens however like I mentioned a moment ago there are some things that can derail conversion of these precursor fatty acids into epa and DHA the types of things that can really mess up conversion would be things like a skewed omega-6 to 3 ratio things like alcohol consumption vitamins efficiencies a lack of sleep high stress smoking all of those things are big no-nose surprisingly the thing that's perhaps most detrimental to the conversion of precursor fatty acids to omega-3 is the intake of external Omega threes so if you're getting preformed omega-3s from something like seafood which if you're doing that we need to talk but anyway if you're getting it from seafood or other sources like meat or dairy or eggs or if you're getting it from a deployment then your body isn't going to bother with this conversion process because it doesn't want to have too many highly unsaturated fatty acids lying around in fact our bodies want to keep that level tightly controlled because too many highly unsaturated fatty acids lying around can actually create some oxidation and oxidative stress so ideally we want to have a good balance and the beautiful thing is that if we eat foods that are rich in precursor fatty acids to a large extent our bodies can choose how much they want to convert into Omega threes you may have also heard that men aren't so good at this whole Omega 3 conversion process now I happen to belong to the population that is the best at converting precursor fatty acids into Omega 3s and that population happens to be women of childbearing years now we're so good at this because I mean biologically speaking I'm supposed to be creating babies right now that's just that's why I am biologically on the planet is to make babies now I'm not gonna do that but I know a lot of people choose to and if you're gonna make a baby you're gonna be growing an entire brain inside you and I tell you what that takes a lot of omega-3s so women of childbearing years are great at this conversion we're great at storing Omega threes and we're great at using those to grow baby brains so for those of us who choose to stick with the conversion route you want to make sure that you're getting between two point two to four point four grams of ala per day just to illustrate you get four point seven grams of AOA from two tablespoons of flax seeds so if you have some flax seeds every day you should be all set and then most health professionals don't usually bother recommending la levels because they're so much easier to get and really none of us have any problem getting it as long as you're eating you know a handful of nuts and seeds or you know half an avocado to a whole avocado per day along with the other fats that are naturally found in fruits and vegetables whole grains and beans then you'll be totally fine with your la levels so there's no need to worry or stress about that now if you decide that your conversion game might not be all that strong because you drink alcohol regularly or maybe you're still smoking or maybe you just have like a crap diet with lots of junk food in it and you just don't feel like cleaning it up right now I understand or if you've had like a chronic illness for a long time if you think you might have vitamin deficiencies or if you're just like otherwise paranoid which I get then you can totally supplement in fact I started supplementing with DHA and EPA about six months ago kind of as an experiment just to see what would happen see if there was any improvement in my skin texture or my I don't know hair health or my eyeballs or my thinking ability and as far as I can tell it's made absolutely no difference except that I've spent about a hundred and fifty bucks on supplements I haven't decided if I'm gonna keep supplementing I know there's so much research that shows that high levels of omega-3s are really healthy for us and they're associated with lower levels of Alzheimer's disease as well as lower rates of a lot of other diseases however I'm also aware that having too much omega-3s in your body can actually lead to oxidation of those omega-3s and end up causing some oxidative stress so I haven't decided if I'm gonna supplement long term but certainly that's something that I will keep you guys posted on what I do want to be really really clear about is that if you supplement I don't care who you are I don't care you're on a vegan diet or not it's just a good idea to not take fish oils so by now I feel like most of us know that eating fish comes with risks especially stuff like mercury exposure so because of the state of the world and the environment and the way that humans have just polluted it to within an inch of its capability to survive fish have become toxic waste accumulators they're just like little sponges they take all of those pollutants that's in the water and they filter it and it builds up in their tissues and in their fat and the higher up the food chain those fish go the more toxic they are so while I admit that there might have been a time in human history when consuming fish or other kinds of seafood might have been beneficial to our survival but at this point in history that is no longer true there's nothing necessary or healthy about eating fish anymore and that goes for fish oil supplements too so while most responsible fish oil purveyors do things like filter out heavy metals like mercury thanks what they're unable to filter out are things like PCBs and VOCs and dioxins and other pesticide residues and drug residues and a myriad of other contaminants that have found their way into that fish's flesh and fat all that stays in that little fish oil capsule and all of those will screw up your hormonal functioning so good luckily for everyone on the planet not just vegans or people eating plant-based diets everyone on the planet can benefit from getting their omega-3s in supplement form in a safe way and that safe way is through algae based DHA EPA supplements so some people say well yeah but isn't the algae exposed to the same contaminants as the fish no they're actually not so first because it's algae it's a plant it's the lowest rung on the food chain even if it was floating around in our toxic ocean it would still have a very very small amount of toxicity compared to all of the toxins that had accumulated in the fish that had been eating the algae its whole life but these algae supplements are not harvested from the ocean they are grown in tanks where purified water and other inputs are used so these algae based supplements are free of contamination and that's a beautiful thing so there are several brands out there I tend to stick to the algae based DHA EPA supplement from Nordic Naturals because it's affordable and I can get it on Amazon or through I herb and I trust that Nordic Naturals they're a good brand they're very transparent about the testing they do even though they sell the pressed fish oils – like that shows gross that's you know I don't understand that business practice as far as freaking feeding people PCBs but whatever they have the algae based supplements as well they process that oil in a way to avoid oxidation as much as possible the dose that they recommend on the back of the bottle is two pills a day but in two pills you do get more of a dose than doctors like dr. Greger recommend so it's up to you what kind of dosing you want to do if you choose to supplement but I will just leave you with all of that information I will leave some links to other informational videos in the description below you all are of course more than welcome to leave questions and comments and thank you so much to everybody who submitted questions on Instagram for these upcoming short and sweet q a's if you guys have more questions or are curious and just love geeking out about specific nutrients I highly recommend you all pick up a copy of this book becoming vegan it is extremely comprehensive especially if you get the comprehensive Edition it's written by two registered dieticians they know their stuff so there is so much to learn about healthy nutrition on vegan and plant-based diets in this book I read it on like a daily basis and even though this wasn't the shortest of these short and sweet q and A's I hope you still enjoyed it and learned heaps and are ready to take really good care of your body because you got to make better choices for yourself nobody else is gonna do it and take really really good care I will see you all so very soon bye blackberry seeds okay


  1. Amazing information xxxx thank you dear

  2. I literally just added flax seed to my diet. For the first time, I added ground flax seed to my oatmeal for breakfast. I just finished my oatmeal and have sat down to watch a video on YouTube. I have never been a fan of fish or fish oil. My doctor used to tell me to take fish oil. Since I went vegan, he now tells me to eat flax seeds and chia seeds. My doctor was vegan for four years before he decided to go back to eating meat.

  3. Poor fish ☹️

  4. I’m taking krill oil now just started it recommended by a Dr, any issues you know about this ? I’m not going vegan I will go plant based. Just better for not giving up my little piece of salmon once every two weeks.

  5. I just rewatched this video. So informative and helpful. It deserves a million views and likes!!!

  6. Hey Lily, I just wondered if you could take a quick look at this product that I can get here in New Zealand. Are the levels/amounts of each omega's correct? Plus it has vitamin D3, is that ok to take along with the omegas? I trust your opinion over others!

  7. Hi Lily! Just found that book at my local library the other day and will be digging in to it soon. Crazy to see you are suggesting itπŸ™‚ When I use chronometer it says my vitamin A is way over 100%. Like, over 700% actually.. I’m just very confused🀯 am I getting way too much, or am I missing something? Still trying to figure out chronometer. Any help would be great.πŸ™

  8. So is it true that if one supplements with algae, the natural conversion no longer works?

  9. Hi lily! Okay so I should have flax seed or chia seed daily, and I can supplement if I choose?

  10. Thank you Lily!

  11. Super informative. Thank you, Lily!

  12. As a biochemistry student who is currently studying lipids and steroids, I cannot tell you just how much I love your scientific approach. It speaks to my brain in a way so many vegan content creators on YouTube cannot!

  13. Good video. Thanks.
    On netflix there is a documentary 'A plastic ocean'. That really cures the idea of eating fish. I was shocked by that documentary.

  14. Lily do you know anything about lipedema? I would appreciate if you did and also if you could share what you know about it. I was recently diagnosed due to losing 30lbs since last August from going plant based. The diagnosis came after noticing that my legs stayed pretty fat while the weight loss only happened on my upper body. Again thanks so much for all your wisdom. πŸ™‚

  15. Great video Lily, super informative! And you're hair is looking so perty πŸ™‚

  16. Thank you so much Lily!!!! I love these videos when we actually get to learn about what is 'meant' by recommendations/practices we incorporate into our lives. Great for clearing up doubts with discussions with my omnivore friends too πŸ™‚ Have you considered making an in-depth video about oxidative stress and antioxidants? I feel like 'antioxidants' get thrown around as casually as Omega-3's and 6's do, and would love an informative video from you about them! Lots of hugs from South Korea. I hardly ever comment but I never miss a video from you, and your videos about your personal history have helped me so much xxx

  17. I am going to have to rewatch this video 20x’s😊. So much great information. Thank you. You have really help me lately. Love your work and videos

  18. This is a great video! My mom has arthritis and was recommended fish oil supplements. She's looking into using plant based instead so I'm glad I'll be able to show her this video

  19. Thanks for the video! Love from Germany πŸ˜™

  20. Such a well explained topic !! Wish you all the best πŸ™‚

  21. Thays the one I started taking. Thank you Lily I live your posts

  22. This was a really terrific video thank you

  23. Thanks for the great info!!!

  24. Fish oil is bad but what do you think about Krill oil?

  25. I just got that book! You should be a nutritionist!

  26. This was great, thank you Lily!

  27. Lily, are you concerned about the carrageenan in the nordic naturals dha/epa? Given that I already suffer from gastrointestinal inflammation, I spent a long term looking for a brand without it and 'plant dha max' (no epa included) and 'pure encapsulations' are the only two companies I found which offer vegan dha/epa without carrageenan or other problematic additives. Unfortunately they are more expensive. πŸ™

  28. Thank you so much great information 😊

  29. Very informative. Thanks!

  30. Totally off topic but I have a question :). I've always had sensitive skin but now even more so since being plant based. I even reacted poorly to the sampoo I have been using for years….is this normal? I'm not too bothered by it and just switched products but was curious if this has happened to others and why it might happen. Thanks!! Love your videos!!

  31. I just love you! I wish you were my best friend IRL.

  32. My teeth are falling apart after 5 years on a whole food plant based diet with high quality dental hygiene. Any tips on remineralization? (Besides more greens, because I couldn’t possibly stick any more inside myself)

  33. Thank you Lily, very informative.

  34. I love your informative videos! Learnt so much from you x

  35. White people ugh

  36. I just bought a vegan dha supplement thinking I'd take it daily, but now I'm just going to eat more chia & flax seeds and use the supplement occasionally. You're the best, Lily!

  37. I always get the argument that the fish oil is mostly from farmed fish not ones in the fresh water. Same with people buying farmed fish. What is a good reply to that?

  38. Your thumbnail does such a good job visually representing a whole issue πŸ˜› πŸ‘ great job lovely – keep up the great work!!! βœŒοΈπŸ˜˜πŸ’•

  39. Hi Lily, I’ve been trying to eat more healthy fats and I’m wondering if a whole avocado a day is too much for someone that is only lightly active? I also supplement with flaxseeds to get a balance but I am not sure how much fat is too much. Thank you for this video xx

  40. Thanks Lilly, I'm a little less confused about Omega's.

  41. Thank you so much, Lily!!! You are so awesome with all this amazing information

  42. Great vid! Props on pointing out individual variance on DHA/EPA conversion. Gotta say as a woman on the far side of fertility that despite "doing everything right" my DHA/EPA conversion just wasn't happening and my cognition suffered greatly as a result. Supplementation was key for me, and while I'm not as sharp as I was at your age, at least I'm no longer standing there trying to remember what day it is and where the hell I left my car keys. πŸ˜‚

  43. Always so informative!! My boyfriend thinks I'm really smart, but I really just watch a ton of your YouTube videos and read a lot..

  44. Thank you πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘πŸΌ

  45. lily i love how informative & in depth your videos are, but also easy to understand <3 THANK YOU <3

  46. For all the nursing mamas even if you eat a really great plant based vegan diet you might want to get your epa/dha levels tested. I had mine tested and I was low, even though I used ground flax daily, so I now supplement. When I’m done nursing I am going to stop supplementing and get tested again and see what happens. Just an FYI🌺 thank you Lilly! Great video as alwaysπŸ‘πŸŒ±

  47. Hey Lily! Can you make an in-depth video about acupuncture? I'm curious to hear your opinion on it

  48. Woah! Great intro!
    I really enjoy your educational videos!πŸ’—β€οΈπŸ˜„

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