A Fishy Diet: Top Source of Omega-3 FAs

Not Just Any Fish in the Ocean

Omega 3 fatty acids (or Omega 3 FAs) are essential fatty acids for body health. Our bodies don’t make them, but they are ‘essential’ so we have to get them from other sources. These FAs are naturally abundant in cold water fish and shellfish, plant and nut oils, English walnuts, flaxseed, and algae oils. But there are 2 types of omega-3 fatty acids – the long-chain ones and the short-chain. Fish and shellfish contain long-chain FA which are EPA and DHA. Algae however provides only DHA. Plants, like flaxseed, contain ALA, the short-chain omega-3 FA with less potent health benefits.

Fish is the richest source of omega-3 FAs, and are also high in protein, vitamins, and minerals, and low in saturated fat. The omega-3s have been proved anti-inflammatory and consuming large amounts can reduce inflammatory processes that leads to many chronic conditions, like cancer, asthma, depression, ADHD, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis. The omega-6 FAs are different; they are pro-inflammatory. The American diet, composed of crackers, cookies, cereals, poultry, eggs, mayonnaise, whole grain bread, corn-fed beef and most vegetable oils – are rich sources of omega-6 FAs. Consuming large amounts is a key step in many chronic diseases.

What are the top food sources for Omega 3 FAs?

According to the SELF Nutrition Data, the top 15 omega-3 foods (percentages based on 4,000 milligrams per day of total omega-3s) are the following: from 1 to 15 in order are Atlantic Mackerel, Salmon Fish Oil, Cod Liver Oil, Walnuts, Chia Seeds, Herring, Alaskan Salmon (wild-caught), Flaxseeds, Albacore Tuna, White Fish, Sardines, Hemp Seeds, Anchovies, Natto, and egg yolks.

Eating two 8-ounce servings of fish each week may be all that is necessary to stay healthy, or better, supplemental daily with doses of between 2 and 5 grams of EPA and DHA. Since polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury are common toxins found in seafood, safer sources with less amounts of mercury can be found in canned light tuna, catfish, pollock, salmon (especially wild salmon), and shrimp. Predatory fish, like shark, swordfish and king mackerel may have higher mercury levels. Remember to be safe while staying healthy.

Omega-3 Rich and Healthy in Issaquah

At Aji Sushi, find only the freshest and safe-sourced fish and seafoods that we serve our diners. Enjoy our omega-3 rich fish and seafood, prepared in true Japanese manner in Issaquah.