What are the Best Sources
of Omega 3 Fats?

Good sources of omega 3 fats include animal-based (primarily fish), vegetarian sources, and supplements made from these sources.

Omega 3 fatty acids are probably the most important fats for your health. A major reason for this is because they help reduce inflammation that leads to many of the degenerative diseases so common today — heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimers, Parkinson's, arthritis and more.

Fish and Marine Animals —
The Richest Sources of Omega 3

The most well-known and widely-researched animal sources of omega 3 fatty acids are cold water fish.  Fish high in omega 3  include anchovies, herring, mackerel, salmon and sardines, which are all especially rich in DHA and EPA, the two primary omega 3 fats.

Extracts of these fish species are used in the making of  omega 3 supplements.  Another source of omega 3 available as a supplement is  omega 3 krill oil.

Other Animal-Based Sources of Omega 3

Beef also contains some omega 3 fats, although meat from grain-fed cows contains significantly less than meat from grass-fed cows. The same hold true for eggs as well: eggs laid by chickens who eat grass and insects contain more omega 3 fats than those raised on grain-based diets.

Almost all commercially-available beef and eggs come from animals on a grain-based diet; grass-fed beef and true free-range eggs are only available from specialty stores or directly from the farmer, and cost significantly more than conventional store-bought varieties.

Vegetarian Sources of Omega 3

Vegetarian omega 3 foods include many seeds and nuts which are rich in the omega 3 alpha-linolenic acid. These include chia seeds, flax seeds and hemp seeds. Flaxseed oil, hemp oil and walnut oil are some vegetable oils which are also good sources of omega 3 alpha-linolenic acid.

However, your body has to convert ALA into EPA and DHA, the fatty acids that are most beneficial to your health. This is a relatively inefficient process, so you will not get all the benefits you would get by consuming omega 3 fatty acids directly from animal sources, or by taking marine-animal-based omega 3 supplements instead.

What About Omega 3-Fortified Products?

Supermarkets are now carrying a wide range of products that boast about their added omega 3 content as a health benefit. Everything from mayonnaise to cereal to eggs can be found with omega 3 added in. But are these products really better for your health?

The type of omega 3 typically added to food products is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). As mentioned above, your body has to convert this ALA into EPA and DHA, and it can only do this at a ten percent efficiency. Combined with the fact that the amount of ALA added to processed foods is very small, you can't expect to get any of the benefits you would get from a serving of salmon or a fish oil omega 3 supplement.

One of the easiest ways to optimize your intake of omega 3 foods is by following a Mediterranean diet. Generous amounts of richly-colored fruits and vegetables, virgin olive oil and fresh fish can help your body acquire a healthier balance of omega fats

Omega 3 Supplements

The most potent sources of omega 3 fatty acids are supplements made from fish oil and krill oil. A few capsules a day can provide 1 or 2 grams of omega 3's — as much as most fish, and many times the amount found in foods fortified with omega 3. Discover for yourself why they've become one of the most popular nutritional supplements being recommended today by clicking on any of the following links:

Fish Oil Supplements

Krill Oil Supplements

Here's a list of other pages on this website on omega 3:

Discover Omega 3 Benefits

What are Essential Fatty Acids?

Main Omega 3 page

Antioxidants Home Page from Sources of Omega 3


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