Omega 3 fatty acids are unsaturated fatty acids which are essential for the functioning of your organism.
Omega 3 is most often mentioned in connection with cholesterol, heart disease and artery problems.
Omega 3 fatty acids have a positive impact on the health of your hair & skin and help burn excessive fat. Find below a handy list of omega 3 foods.
Omega 3 is important!
A fact – your body needs fat – but only a reasonable amount per day. If you daily consume too much of fat then you might get in trouble of consuming excessive calories which may lead to weight gain.
You might want to read this article on the importance of omega 3 for more detailed explanation of what omega 3 actually is.
Your body also needs omega 6 (and omega 9) fatty acids, but consuming these is usually not a problem as you can obtain them by consuming refined vegetable oils that can be found in many foods.
More problematic are the omega 3 fatty acids, which are found only in certain foods. Scroll down to see the list of omega 3 foods.
Omega 3 foods
As mentioned already, you must provide your body with essential omega 3 fatty acids by consuming proper omega 3 rich foods. Find below a table of omega 3 foods that are available in your local super market.
Source: Minnesota Nutrient Data Base 4.04, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
|Fish||Portion||Total n-3 FA (g)|
|Salmon, cold water, fresh and frozen, cooked||4 oz.||1.7|
|Sardines, canned in oil, drained||4 oz.||1.8|
|Tuna, canned in water, drained||4 oz.||0.3|
|Tuna, canned in oil, drained||4 oz.||0.2|
|Cod, fresh and frozen, cooked||4 oz.||0.6|
|Mackerel, canned, drained||4 oz.||2.2|
|Swordfish, fresh and frozen, cooked||4 oz.||1.7|
|Crab, soft shell, cooked||4 oz||0.6|
|Lobster, cooked||4 oz.||0.1|
|Bluefish, fresh and frozen, cooked||4 oz.||1.7|
|Salmon, canned, drained||4 oz.||2.2|
|Smelt, rainbow||4 oz||0.5|
|Scallops, Maine, fresh and frozen, cooked||4 oz.||0.5|
|Nuts and Seeds||Portion||Total n-3 FA (g)|
|Almonds, dry roasted||1 oz.||0|
|Flax seeds||1 oz.||1.8|
|Pecans, dry roasted||1 oz.||0.3|
|Pistachios, roasted||1 oz.||0.1|
|Poppy seeds||1 oz.||0.1|
|Pumpkin seeds, shelled||1 oz.||0.1|
|Sesame seeds||1 oz.||0.1|
|Oils||Portion||Total n-3 FA (g)|
|Walnut oil||1 Tbsp.||1.4|
|Soybean oil, unhydrogenated||1 Tbsp.||0.9|
|Flax seed oil||1 Tbsp.||6.9|
|Canola oil||1 Tbsp.||1.3|
|Cod liver oil||1 Tbsp.||2.8|
|Olive oil||1 Tbsp.||0.1|
|Sardine oil||1 Tbsp.||3.7|
|Grains and Beans||Portion||Total n-3 FA (g)|
|Soybeans, dried, cooked||½ cup||0.5|
|Tofu, regular||4 oz.||0.3|
|Greens||Portion||Total n-3 FA (g)|
|Spinach, fresh, cooked||½ cup||0.1|
|Green leaf lettuce, fresh, raw||1 cup||Trace|
|Red leaf lettuce, fresh, raw||1 cup||Trace|
|Boston or Bibb lettuce, fresh, raw||1 cup||Trace|
|Chard, cooked||½ cup||0|
|Turnip greens, cooked||½ cup||Trace|
|Dandelion greens, cooked||½ cup||0.1|
|Kale, cooked||½ cup||0.1|
|Beet greens, cooked||½ cup||Trace|
|Collard greens, cooked||½ cup||0.1|
|Mustard greens, fresh, cooked||½ cup||Trace|
This chart is for orientational purposes only.
Flaxseed oil has the highest amount of omega 3. For nuts, walnut is the winner. Salmon meat has the highest percentage of omega 3 fats when considering fish.
Wondering how much omega 3 per day should you consume? Please read the following article on how much omega 3 per day?.
You should try to consume different foods that contain omega 3 fatty acids and have them in your diet randomly. Here is a simple diet plan.
- Monday: olive oil; add to salad
- Tuesday: have a can of tuna
- Wednesday: eat a raw smoked salmon
- Thursday: treat yourself with some walnuts
- Friday: add flaxseed oil to your healthy smoothie
- Saturday: add sesame seeds on top of fried eggs
- Sunday: have a can of sardines.
Following this diet will allow you to obtain omega 3 from different sources – animal sources and plant sources. It is best to mix the two sources!
But do not worry – this is an ideal diet plan. Do not focus so much on omega 3 – eat foods that you like the most but consider adding some omega 3 rich foods to your diet weekly.