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Understanding the Omega 3 Rich Diet of the Greenland Inuit

The Eskimos of Greenland have gained wide attention because of their Omega 3 rich diet.  The Greenland Eskimos are part of the so-called Inuit society.  The Inuit people are indigenous Arctic tribes living in the frozen regions of Canada, Siberia, Alaska, and Greenland.  They have adopted a diet that is suitable for their environment. 

But the most remarkable thing about the Inuit diet is its focus on fatty sea foods such as seals, whale fat and Arctic sea lions.  Almost 60 percent of the diet of the Inuit people consists of fats.  Surprisingly, the incidences of cardiovascular and inflammatory disorders among the Greenland Eskimos are low.  Such paradox can be attributed to their Omega 3 rich diet. 

The Good Fat and Bad Fat Divide

Dietary fats have received plenty of bad press.  The fatty content of foods is often blamed for the increasing cases of cardiovascular disorders.  However, you need to distinguish between the two types of fats -- the good fat and the bad fat. 

Modern diets are typically rich in bad fat and poor in healthy fatty acid.  Unlike the typical Inuit of Greenland, modern man consumes too much Omega 6.  Over consumption of Omega 6 could increase the risk of cardiovascular disorder. 

So the best that you can do is to follow what the Inuit have long been doing.  You need to increase your Omega 3 fatty acid consumption in order to counterbalance the adverse impact of too much Omega 6 in your diet.  You can also develop a diet that is more focused on n-3 Omega fatty acid. 

The Best Sources of Omega 3 Fats

Oily fish are the best sources Omega 3 fatty acid.  This essential fatty acid can also be found in some seeds and plant sources.  However, fatty sea foods are your best options if you want to make a substantial change in your fat consumption. 

Some of the best sources of Omega 3 include sockeye salmon, Atlantic herring, mackerel, tuna, and cod.  These fishes are readily available in the market.  Just like the Greenland Inuit, you will be able to get the full benefits of n-3 fatty acids if you develop a diet that includes fatty and oily fishes. 

Selecting Your Fish According to Mercury Content

Highest Mercury Content >
5. Tuna
4. Cod
3. Mackerel
2. Herring
Lowest Mercury Content > 1. Salmon
Ref Source: Mercury Calculator

The Benefits of Omega 3 to Your Body

It has been observed that the Inuit people of Greenland, who subsisted on fatty fish and sea foods, showed great resistance against cardiovascular disorders.  This is due mainly to their diet which is rich in essential n-3 fatty acid. 

You too can enjoy the healthy benefits of Omega 3 fatty acid by approximating the Inuit diet.  Long chain n-3 fatty acid could promote the healthy development of cells and may be helpful in strengthening the cardiovascular system.  It also has good anti-inflammatory properties which could help minimize the painful symptoms of arthritis. 

You can learn a lot from the diet of the traditional Inuit people of Greenland.  A diet that is rich in fatty sea foods and fish could help promote good brain and heart development.  Make sure that you are getting sufficient Omega 3 from your diet so you can live healthier and stronger. 

Lyuben Georgiev works as a nutritionist in Denmark. He is specialized in the creation of diets rich in vitamins and minerals. Visit Mineraler vitaminer diæt at

Reference Source
March 8, 2011


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