Do You Know Nutrition: Replace fish oil with seed oil to relieve belching

By Phylis Canion
Sept. 18, 2012 at 4:18 a.m.

Phylis Canion

Phylis Canion

I tried to take fish oil supplements, but had to quit because since I kept belching them. Can you please explain why I am belching the fish oil gels and if there is an alternative?

Quite often when you belch after taking a fish oil supplement and have that fishy taste is because it is rancid.

Time and temperature make fish oil rancid and more difficult to break down, hence the belching. It is best to keep fish oil in the freezer after opening (fish oil will not freeze).

Belching is one of the main reasons I recommend taking a seed oil, like chia seed oil or flax seed oil, rather than fish oil. The other reason is because with fish oil, the animal tissue has to be deodorized to remove odors before it is made into an oil while seed oil is simply made by pressing oil out of the seed.

Can you please tell me what foods are good for lowering cholesterol and what foods may raise cholesterol levels? My physician suggested trying diet since I am unable to take medication because of the side effects. Any supplement that may help? I appreciate your suggestions.

When it comes to cholesterol sabotage, foods high in saturated fats and trans fats top the list of bad foods.

While many think eggs top the list of bad foods, it is quite the opposite. Eggs contain 186 milligrams of cholesterol, but only 1.6 grams of saturated fat.

"Foods high in saturated fats can increase cholesterol more than foods high in cholesterol," said Wahida Karmally, a Columbia University nutrition researcher.

Some foods that may increase cholesterol includes ground turkey and meats (unless they are 99 percent fat free), added sugars such as table sugar and high fructose corn syrup, mashed potatoes (when whole milk, sour cream and or cream cheese are added), pizza, whole-fat dairy products, ghee (clarified butter), pie, pastries and movie theater popcorn, which contains a whopping 60 grams of saturated fats and 1,200 calories in a medium size serving.

According to Mayo Clinic, the top six foods that can help lower cholesterol are:

1. Oatmeal

2. Fish

3. Omega 3 fatty acids (found in seed oils)

4. Nuts (including walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans and peanuts)

5. Olive oil.

The only supplement that can help lower cholesterol (depending on brand and quality) is red yeast rice. The active ingredient in red yeast rice is the same as the active ingredient in medications used to treat high cholesterol.

As I always recommend, talk with your health care provider before using any natural supplements to reduce the risk of interactions.

Thought for the week: Your children need your presence more than your presents.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, e-mail her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



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