Salt Lake City, UT–According to a study done by the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED), American adults are not as educated about ways to maintain a healthy heart as they should be.

“Most people don’t have the important information they need about omega-3s as it relates to heart, brain and eye health, as evidence by this survey,” said Adam Ismail, executive director of GOED. “This underscores the strong need for clear communication and education about the health benefits, nutritional value and sources of omega-3s.”

The survey found that, following a heart health issue, 66% of respondents did not begin to take a heart-healthy supplement, such as omega-3s; 77% did not know that low levels of omega-3s could lead to bad health; 44% did not know that omega-3s could help lower blood pressure; and 92% were unaware of a good source of omega-3s.

Additional studies have found that this supplement can “maintain healthy blood pressure, support healthy triglyceride levels and manage risk of heart disease. The totality of evidence suggests a positive correlation between increased omega-3 intake and heart health benefits,” according to the press release.

"According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), an estimated 1.4 million coronary heart disease deaths in 2010 were attributable to low intakes of EPA and DHA," said Ellen Schutt, communications director of GOED. "This is why GOED believes it is so important for the U.S. and Canadian governments to implement a DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) for omega-3s and we continue to work toward that goal."

The best food sources of omega-3s are said to be fatty fishes such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies and different types of tuna. To get the recommended daily dosage, people could also take an omega-3 supplement or get milk, eggs or bread fortified with omega-3s.

"This statistic makes educating customers about the benefits of omega-3s extremely important and our recent consumer survey just highlights that we have more work to do," said Schutt. "We need to continue to work together as an industry to share this important information with consumers so we can change these statistics."

Published on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 5/14/15