The best way to meet a 500mg daily quota of these fatty acids is to consume two to three 150g serves of oily fish a week (skin on). Oily fish offers a good whack of omega-3 in a package of low-fat protein with vitamins A, B12, D and E, iodine, selenium, calcium, zinc and iron.
“Food-based delivery of omega-3 is best because it encourages people to focus on eating a healthy diet that offers a wide variety of nutrients from different sources,” says Dr Catherine Itsiopoulos, spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia.
“Taking fish oils has been shown to reduce levels of unhealthy fats, but taking a supplement does nothing to train people to eat better, which over time has huge health benefits.”
A study from the University of Melbourne
found that both fish and supplements increase the omega-3 in blood levels, but the salmon eaters in the study also had improved blood pressure. “Blood pressure is a more powerful predictor of heart disease risk,” says Itsiopoulos. “We think this benefit occurred not just because of the omega-3, but because the two salmon meals replaced two less healthy meals.”
How much omega-3 are you getting?
More than 2000mg DHA + EPA per 150g serve: Canned sardines (3753mg), Atlantic salmon (2346mg), fish roe
[caviar black] (2251mg), rainbow trout (2235mg), canned salmon (2169mg)
More than 300mg DHA + EPA per 150g serve: Mullet (791mg), canned tuna (727mg)*, scallops cooked (670mg),
raw pacific oyster (706mg), snapper (399mg), frozen battered fish fillets (413mg)*
More than 150mg DHA +EPA per 150g serve: Barramundi (337mg), smoked cod (270mg), flathead (269mg), lamb tenderloin cooked (152mg), fish fingers grilled (242mg), flake, battered shark takeaway (198mg), beef fillet cooked (183mg), King prawns (232mg)
Eggs: Regular eggs (72mg per 2 eggs), omega-3-enriched eggs (128mg per 2 eggs).
*Check DHA + EPA on the packaging, as different brands vary.