Sardines As A Source of Omega-3 Fats: Breast Feeding

Omega-3 fatty acids are an important part of any diet as they are essential to health. Diets devoid of omega-3 fats cause death and low intakes result in disease. Adult humans can moderate their intakes of omega-3 fats and can choose whether to consume them or not, based on their goals. However, infants are reliant on their mothers to provide omega-3 fatty acids for them, and in their regard the diet of the mother will determine how many omega-3 fats reach the infant. Oily fish are an excellent way to increase the omega-3 intake of the milk that the mother provides to the infant, and in this regard, sardines have been shown to be beneficial. Eating 100 g canned sardines two times per week can significantly increase the omega-3 fatty acid content of the mother’s milk. Of course fresh sardines are equally beneficial, but are much harder to obtain and they have a much shorter shelf life. Canned sardines are convenient, relatively cheap and effective at providing considerable amounts of long chain marine omega-3 fats.

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Patin, R.V., Vítolo, M.R., Valverde, M.A., Carvalho, P.O., Pastore, G.M. and Lopez, F.A. 2006. The influence of sardine consumption on the omega-3 fatty acid content of mature human milk. Jornal de pediatria. 82: 63-69

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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