Dietary sources of omega-3s: Fish and Vegetables

The best way to achieve a healthy ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids is to increase your intake of omega-3s.

Fatty fish are considered to be the most widely available dietary source of EPA and DHA.  In fact, several studies have indicated an inverse relationship between the consumption of fish containing EPA and DHA and the risk of cardiac death.  Canada’s Food Guide recommends at least two 75-g servings of fish per week.

Top seafood sources of omega-3s include:

  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies
  • Char
  • Smelt
  • Trout
  • Tuna
  • Trout
  • Crab
  • Shrimp
  • Mussels
  • Oysters

However, it is important to note that excess consumption of certain types of fish (typically large predatory fish that eat other fish) could result in exposure to toxic levels of mercury.  Health Canada recommends limiting the consumption of fresh/frozen tuna, shark, swordfish, marlin, orange roughy and escolar to the following:

General population Specified women Children 5-11 years of age Children 1-4 years of age
150 g per week 150 g per month 125 g per month 75 g per month

For additional information on mercury, click here.

Other dietary sources of omega-3s include:

  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Canola oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Vegetable blend oils
  • Tofu
  • Certain grocery products, such as eggs, with added DHA

The health benefits of fatty fish intake can also be obtained by taking fish oil supplements.  Fish oil is derived from the bodies of fish such as anchovies, herring, sardines, mackerel, salmon and smelt, among others.  Fish oil is available commercially in capsule and liquid form.

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