If you are a diabetic, then eating oily fish twice a week can help you lower the chances of developing its prominent complication, diabetic retinopathy.
Omega 3 fatty acids are very important unsaturated fatty acids that our body can’t synthesize. It can be obtained only by eating oily fish like sardines, salmon and flax seeds. The daily requirement of omega 3 for adults is 500 mg/d. It is equal to two servings of fatty fish a week.
Diabetic Retinopathy is a complication of type 2 diabetes which causes damage to the blood vessels in the retina of the eye. It can lead to vision problems and can be treated by controlling blood sugar levels.
A Spanish research conducted between the years 2003-2009 in 3,500 people with diabetes reported the link between omega 3 and diabetic retinopathy. Participants were divided into two groups. One-half met the daily need of omega 3 by the intake of Mediterranean diet rich in nuts and plant oils while the other did not meet the limit.
Wonders of Mediterranean Diet
- It includes fresh fruits, vegetables, olive oil, seeds, nuts, oily fish, red meat, whole grains and healthy fats.
- This diet promotes longevity with good health and positive life.
- It helps in losing weight and managing fat.
- It promotes heart health, cognitive functioning and lifespan.
- Mediterranean diet helps prevent cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular events.
At the end of the study, participants in the group who met the 500 mg/d limit reported a significant reduction in diabetic retinopathy risk than who did not meet it. The study did not find the exact way in which omega-3 reduced the chances of diabetic retinopathy. But studies have proved that retina is rich in long-chain omega 3-polyunsaturated fatty acids and by healthy eating, blood cells in the retina can be rejuvenated.
Since treatment is not required for diabetic retinopathy, including fatty fish in our regular diet can help lower the chances of developing it.
Other Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- Omega 3 helps regulate cholesterol and triglyceride levels, lowering risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular events.
- It can have an effect on reducing cancer, ADHD and Alzheimer’s disease.
- It helps in lowering joint pain due to rheumatoid arthritis.
- Omega 3 also helps boost mood and fight depression.