How can I get more omega-3 in my diet?
Many people believe that consuming fats in your diet is a bad thing. This is only true for saturated fats. Polyunsaturated fatty acids on the other hand, such as omega-3, are in fact very good for you. Omega-3 such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are essential for your body to function properly.1 In addition to being necessary for the body to function, they also provide many health benefits.
Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to ensure that you consume enough omega-3 fatty acids in your daily diet. The richest dietary sources of EPA and DHA are oily fish, such as herring, salmon, trout and tuna. They’re also found in plant sources such as flaxseed oil, walnuts, canola oil, soybeans and tofu.2 It’s recommended that adult Australians consume 500mg of omega-3 fatty acids daily. This is the equivalent of two to three 150g serves of oily fish per week.3
If you’re vegetarian, or don’t like the taste of fish, there’s several other ways you can add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. Many products are enriched with added omega-3, such as some brands of milk, yoghurt, eggs, bread and soy drinks. Look for the words “with added omega-3” on the package. Plant based omega-3 suitable for vegetarians can also be found in canola oil and margarine, nuts, seeds and in dark green vegetables.
Fish oil supplements are also available in capsule or liquid form. Look for one which provides at least 500mg of EPA and DHA in total, or speak to your pharmacist or doctor for advice about which product is right for you. Algae based omega-3 supplements are also available and are ideal for those who don’t consume animal products.4
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Published November 27, 2014
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