It’s no secret that eating a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids is essential for good health. And while most of us know this, the challenge lies in how we actually achieve it. I’ll teach you how – by sharing my own story and giving practical advice on how to incorporate more fish in our diets. In addition, I’ll also be reviewing products which are helpful for people who want to increase their intake of Omega-3 oils but are cautious about what they eat or just don’t know where to start.
Food For Omega 3
Omega-3s may help lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. These healthy fats are being added to everything from eggs to peanut butter. You can also get them naturally in fish, including salmon and tuna.
There are different types of omega-3s: ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).
Your body can turn ALA into DHA and EPA, though not very efficiently (only about 15% of the plant-based ALA can be converted to DHA and EPA in the body). So, many dietitians recommend getting DHA and EPA from supplements. While there’s no standard recommendation for how many omega-3s we need, dieticians consider the Adequate Intake (AI) for adults to be 1600 milligrams (mg) for men and 1100 mg for women. You can find roughly 450 mg in a 6-ounce can of tuna and 600 mg in 3 ounces of salmon. Some fortified foods offer 100 mg or more.
Bring this shopping list the next time you go to the supermarket.
Fish: Top Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Look for seafood rich in omega-3s, such as:
- Tuna (freshor light, canned in water)
Dairy and Juices Fortified With Omega-3s
You’ll likely find the following foods fortified with omega-3 fatty acids:
- Soy milk
Grains and Nuts With Omega-3s
Bread and pasta are some of the foods that may have omega-3s added to them. These fats are also naturally found in whole foods like seeds and nuts. When shopping, look for omega-3s in:
- Peanut butter
- Pumpkin seeds
- Pizza, packaged
- Flour tortillas
Fresh Produce With ALA Omega-3s
Vegetables, especially green leafy ones, are good sources of ALA, one form of omega-3 fatty acids. Although ALA isn’t as powerful as the other omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, these vegetables also have fiber and other nutrients, as well as omega-3s.
- Brussels sprouts
Oil With ALA Omega-3s
Oils can be a good source of ALA omega-3s, too, including:
- Canola oil
- Cod liver oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Mustard oil
- Soybean oil
- Walnut oil
Fish sources of omega-3
The following types of fish are some of the best sources of these fatty acids. For each fish below, the serving size is 3 ounces (oz):
Mackerel is a small, fatty fish that people commonly eat smoked, often for breakfast.
A serving of mackerel contains:
- 0.59 g of DHA
- 0.43 g of EPA
Along with omega-3s, mackerel is rich in selenium and vitamin B-12.
Salmon is one of the most popular and highly nutritious types of fish available. There are several differences between wild and farmed salmon, including some variations in the omega-3 content.
One serving of farmed salmon contains:
- 1.24 g of DHA
- 0.59 g of EPA
One serving of wild salmon contains:
- 1.22 g of DHA
- 0.35 g of EPA
Salmon also contains high levels of protein, magnesium, potassium, selenium, and B vitamins.
Learn more about the differences between wild and farmed salmon here.
Seabass is a popular Japanese fish.
One serving of seabass contains:
- 0.47 g of DHA
- 0.18 g of EPA
Seabass also provides protein and selenium.
Oysters are a favorite shellfish that restaurants tend to serve as an appetizer or snack. Unlike many other seafood sources, oysters contain all three major classes of omega-3s.
One serving of oysters contains:
- 0.14 g of ALA
- 0.23 g of DHA
- 0.30 g of EPA
Oysters are also rich in zinc and vitamin B-12.
Sardines are a small, oily fish that people can buy in cans and eat as a snack or appetizer.
One serving of canned sardines contains:
- 0.74 g of DHA
- 0.45 g of EPA
Sardines are also a good source of selenium and vitamins B-12 and D.
People around the world eat shrimp as both an appetizer and a component of many meals.
One serving of shrimp contains:
- 0.12 g of DHA
- 0.12 g of EPA
Shrimp is also rich in protein and potassium.
Rainbow trout are among the most popular and healthful types of fish.
One serving of trout contains:
- 0.44 g of DHA
- 0.40 g of EPA