Consumer’s Guide to Buying the Best Flaxseed Oil
Are you looking for the best flaxseed oil?
You can get this healthy oil in many different forms; organic, refined, soft gels and liquids. You can also find the oils mixed with health-promoting ingredients called lignans and other oil blends to enhance their benefits.
So with all these choices, how do you choose the best one? I’ve been using flaxseed oils for a number of years and have tried a variety of different brands and formulations.
While I’m not an expert, I can offer you some tips and suggestions to help you choose the best flaxseed.
Six Steps to Choosing the Best Flaxseed Oil
The following is more detailed information to help you find the best products based on a number of criteria:
- Are the Oils Cold Pressed and Unrefined?
- The best flaxseed oil is Cold-Pressed. This means no heat was used to make the oil. Excessive heat exposure can damage the fragile omega-3 fatty acids which may lower their nutritional value.
- Look for unrefined products where the least amount of processing is used to make them. Highly-refined oils could be exposed to dozens of processing steps which may affect the quality of the oil and may even increase your risk for flaxseed oil side effects.
- Made from Certified-Organic Flax seeds:
- The best flaxseed oil is made from flax grown without pesticides or artificial fertilizers. You can find oils that are free of chemical solvents, artificial colours, preservatives and genetically modified ingredients.
- Packaged in Dark Bottles and Low Oxygen Environment:
- Try to look for products packaged in dark glass bottles or opaque containers to limit light exposure.
- The best oils are processed and packaged in a low-oxygen environment to protect against oxidation of the fatty acids.
- An example of liquid product packaged in dark bottles is Barlean’s Organic Flax Oil
- Contains only 100% Pure Oils:
- Only the best flaxseed oil will contain 100% pure oils.
- Some manufacturers may add other ingredients or other oils such as pumpkin seed oils, sunflower oils, sesame seed or borage oils.
- Try Capsules and Soft gels:
- You can also get flaxseed oil capsules and soft gels. Most soft gels are usually tamper-proof and the ingredients are less likely to go rancid due to the protective soft gel casing.
- When buying capsules or soft gels, you should try to look for higher dosages per soft gel, so you’ll get a higher amount of omega 3 fatty acids per soft gel.
- Reasonably Priced
- You should pay a fair price for good quality products.
- Bottled liquids are usually available in 8 ounce to 32 ounce bottles. Prices can range from 75 cents to $1 per ounce, depending on the brand.
- The cost of soft gel flaxseed will depend on the dosage and number of soft gels per bottle. Average prices for 100 capsules per bottle range from $15 – $25 for 1000 mg. softgels. Look at the ingredient label and see what you’re getting per capsule and the cost per capsule.
Important Tip if Buying Flaxseed Oils with Lignans
Some manufacturers may add flaxseed particles called lignans and then market them as “high-lignan” flaxseed oil. Lignans are a fibrous plant compound with antioxidant properties and they’re found in the hull of the flaxseed. The flaxseed hull is usually removed when they make the oil.
The problem I found with most of these so-called ‘high-lignan’ oils is that you may only get 2 – 4 mg. of lignans per teaspoon of oil. Food scientists believe we actually need 40 – 50 mg. of lignans per day to get health benefits from them. So you may be paying a higher price for a product that may give you no extra health benefits.
If you want to try high-lignan flaxseed oils, I recommend looking at the ingredient label to see if they list the actual lignan content. Some companies may call their products high-lignan, but they may not disclose how much lignans you’re really getting in the bottle. The highest source of lignans is always found in ground flaxseeds.
Before you go out and buy that bottle of high-lignan oils, read this article warning consumers about low-lignan flaxseed oils.
Suggested Flaxseed Oil Products:
Here are a few products that I think you’ll find are high quality flaxseed oils. There are many other good products to choose from, so just remember to follow the above guidelines and you can’t go wrong with choosing a nutritious oil.
One of the most popular flaxseed oils on Amazon.com is Barlean’s Organic High Lignan Flax Oil. This product has one of the highest customer reviews with many people pleased with the delicious nutty flavor and the health benefits from the omega 3 fatty acids.
You can also find flaxseed oils at your local organic health food store and online retailers. Remember to read ingredient labels and research the company that makes the product before purchasing. If you follow the above tips, you can be confident you’re getting a quality flaxseed oil.