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Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Content of Foods

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Content of Foods

Omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent heart disease. This type of fat is found is many foods. The three types of omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (found in some vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and soy foods) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are found in fatty fish.

The amount of omega-3 fatty acids needed to prevent heart disease is not clear. However, for those who have suffered from some form of heart disease, consuming between 0.5 to 1.8 grams (g) of EPA+DHA/day can reduce cardiovascular deaths. An alpha-linolenic acid intake of approximately 1.3 to 3 g/day seems to benefit those who have had cardiovascular disease.

The following table provides the omega-3 content of various foods.

Food EPA+DHA Content/
(3-oz serving)
Linolenic Acid Content (g/Tbsp)
Canola oil 1.3
Catfish:
    Farmed
    Wild
0.15
0.2

Clams 0.24
Cod:
    Atlantic
    Pacific
0.24
0.13

Crab, Alaskan king 0.35
Flaxseed oil 8.5
Flaxseeds 2.2
Flounder/sole 0.42
Haddock 0.2
Halibut 0.4-1.0
Herring:
    Atlantic
    Pacific
1.71
1.81

Lobster 0.07-0.41
Mackerel 0.34-1.57
Olive oil 0.1
Oysters:
    Eastern
    Farmed
    Pacific
0.47
0.37
1.17


Salmon:
    Atlantic, farmed
    Atlantic, wild
    Chinook
    Chum
    Pink
    Sockeye
1.09-1.83
0.9-1.56
1.48
0.68
1.09
0.68





Sardines 0.98-1.70
Scallops 0.17
Shrimp, mixed species 0.27
Soybean oil 0.9
Trout, rainbow:
    Farmed
    Wild
0.98
0.84

Tuna, fresh 0.24-1.28
Tuna, lite, canned in water (drained) 0.26
Tuna, white, canned in water (drained) 0.73
Walnuts, English 0.7
Walnut oil 1.4

DHA-docosahexaenoic acid, EPA=eicosapentaenoic acid, g=gram, oz=ounce, Tbsp=tablespoon

 

References and recommended readings
Kris-Etherton PM, Harris WS, Appel LJ; American Heart Association Nutrition Committee. Fish consumption, fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids, and cardiovascular disease. Circulation. 2002;106(21):2747-2757.

Mahan LK, Escott-Stump S, Raymond JL. Krause’s Food and the Nutrition Care Process. 13th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2012.

 

Review Date 6/14

G-1037

G-1037 Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Content of Foods

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