Cardiovascular disease is the single biggest killer of both male and female Americans, causing 1 in 2.9 of all deaths—more than all cancers combined—and currently affects 26% of the population. In Heart Healthy Foods: A Delicious Diet can Lower Cholesterol, we wrote about heart-healthy foods and what makes them healthy, from oatmeal to asparagus to olive oil. Here we will focus on foods that can lower “bad” cholesterol, or LDL, and possibly even raise good cholesterol (HDL).
Just what are these omega-3s that the news and food product labels are full of? Omega 3s are essential fatty acids, which means our bodies need them but cannot make them so we have to get them from our diet. There are three different omega-3s: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).