Many of us want to manage our diabetes by following a vegetarian diet. Most vegetarians object to eating meat because of ethical motivations stemming from respect for sentient life or for environmental concerns. These are worthy motivations.
Others are vegetarians because they believe that avoiding meat is healthier. Until now, however, a vegetarian diet is clearly less healthy in at least one crucial respect.
Getting enough heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids has been essentially impossible without eating fish or supplementing our diet with krill or fish oil. Many of us have the mistaken belief that vegetarian sources of omega-3 from chia or flax seeds will satisfy the requirements of our bodies for this essential nutrient.
But typically only 4 to 8 percent of the type of omega-3 fat found in these vegetarian sources get converted into the the long-chain fatty acids that our bodies need. This is according to a special report on “Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cardiac Arrhythmias: Prior Studies and Recommendations for Future Research” in Circulation, the official journal of the American Heart Association.