Hailed as one of bodybuilding’s greatest of all time, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a patriarch for the sport even in retirement. Making it his mission to impart knowledge to his fans, Schwarzenegger takes to social media often with videos and demonstrations of fitness techniques. Another way he reached out was with his newsletter Arnold’s Pump Club, where he recently addressed fish oil, and explained why it’s not providing as many benefits as whole food options.
As well as providing workout tips, the seven-time Mr. Olympia winner often highlights the importance of proper nutrition. This includes calling out the supplement companies for hiding illegal ingredients in their products as well as acknowledging the stigma around diet practices such as consuming high-quality protein to achieve better gains.
Practicing what he preaches, Arnold Schwarzenegger sticks to an 80% plant-based diet, crediting it for lowering his cholesterol and helping with his overall health which has been at the forefront of all bodybuilders’ minds with the recent influx of deaths including the loss of beloved Arnold Classic winner Cedric McMillin.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Shares That Eating Fish Twice A Week Is Better Than Taking Fish Oil
Arnold Schwarzenegger is once again bringing attention to a common supplement that he believes has fallen short of some of its claims. Fish oil is one of the most common supplements on the market though recent studies show that it doesn’t provide the level of cardiovascular health benefits that it claims.
“Research suggests approximately 9 percent of supplements meet the recommended intake of combined DHA and EPA — the two oils associated with health benefits (for the record, you want approximately 2 grams combined). The supplements are under-dosing what you need, but there’s an even bigger concern.
“Taking fish oil supplements might not provide the same cardiovascular health benefits as getting fish oil from whole foods. While research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids help fight cardiovascular disease, most studies focus on people who get healthy fats from food. But you don’t see the same boost when you look at research that uses fish oil supplements. In fact, in one study of more than 15,000 people, those who took fish oil did not see a significant boost in cardiovascular protection compared to those who didn’t. And that’s not the only research to suggest fish oil supplements fall flat on some claims.”
“According to the American College of Cardiology, another trial of 12,000 people tracked for up to 7 years saw no significant benefit. A different study of people taking a higher dose of fish oil for two years also saw no improvement compared to those who didn’t take fish oil.
Translation: Eating two or more servings of fish per week helps fight cardiovascular disease, but the same can’t be said for taking a similar amount of fish oil pills.”
Continuing to address cardiovascular health, Schwarzenegger also discussed the misconception that eating more protein can lead to kidney problems and ultimately a shorter lifespan.
“Protein lives a double life. On one hand, experts tell you to eat more every day. On the other hand, you have gurus suggesting that it causes kidney issues and lessens lifespan. We’ve previously shared that the kidney claims are unfounded, as are the suggestions that it will lead to a shorter life.
A recent study offers more retribution: research suggests that high-protein diets do not increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease.
The researchers examined the effects of high-protein diets on the health of more than 200,000 participants, covering multiple years. They didn’t find that protein itself was linked to poor cardiovascular health or stroke.
The concern about higher protein diets is often linked to other variables, such as eating too much saturated fat. However, not all protein is loaded with saturated fat, meaning protein itself isn’t the issue.
In fact, another analysis of 32 studies reviewing more than 700,000 participants found that high-protein diets were linked to a lower risk of all-cause mortality. And another study of more than 500,000 people also found that high-protein diets don’t increase the risk of stroke. In both studies, however, better health outcomes were associated with people who ate more plant-based foods. (Just in case you felt this was proof that an all-protein, no-vegetable diet was the way.)”
All in all, Schwarzenegger concludes by emphasizing that when it comes to diets it doesn’t have to be perfect and to do what works best for you.
When in doubt, you don’t need to follow any particular dietary tribe obsessively. Figure out what works best for you, and find a plan that doesn’t require perfection (and ideally lets you enjoy takeout and dessert — because that will keep you more consistent). And remember that protein, plants, and fiber are the three key ingredients of a healthy diet, regardless of food preferences.
Schwarzenegger is dedicated to informing his followers. In one of his recent offerings to fans, “The Austrian Oak” detailed his three-tier hierarchy of muscle growth. Whether it be training, diet, supplements, or willpower, Schwarzenegger has the answers for any fans in need of advice.