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Omega-3: Does the Type of Fish Matter?

Omega-3: Does the Type of Fish Matter?

Which fish measure up? Omega-3s are mainly found in "oily" fish, which are at least 10% fat. Several international guidelines recommend eating 2-3 servings of fish weekly to get its nutritional benefits, this averages to approximately 250-500...
Lifestyle insight
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Which fish measure up?

Omega-3s are mainly found in “oily” fish, which are at least 10% fat.1 Several international guidelines recommend eating 2-3 servings of fish weekly to get its nutritional benefits, this averages to approximately 250-500 mg of marine-sourced Omega-3—ecosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) a day.2,3
 
Not all fish are equal with some providing significantly more EPA and DHA than others. To see if you are selecting the right type of fish, use the guide below.
 
Sources of marine-based Omega-3s (EPA,DHA)2
 
Mix and match to average 250-500 mg a day!
 

How much EPA and DHA (mg)

Fresh fish and seafood, 150 g

>500 mg

Salmon

Trout

Mackeral

[Other examples: mullet, sardines, and anchovies]

400-500 mg

Yellow-tail kingfish

Trevally

300-400 mg

Snapper

Blue-eye trevalla

Tuna

Squid

Oysters

<300 mg

Scallops, prawns, octopus, crab, lobster or crays

A couple of precautions to keep in mind

  • Avoid large, predatory fish
            a. Such as swordfish, which may have higher amounts of mercury
  • It matters how you cook fish
            a. How you cook your fish can play a role in how much Omega-3 is in your fish. For example, fried fish may have less Omega-3 compared to grilled fish.

Is fish not for you?

We get it, seafood isn’t for everyone. But don’t worry, there are other ways to get those Omega-3s. Read more about sources of Omega-3s in our article: Omega-3 and Omega-6: Essentials in your diet 
 
Remember, Omega-3s are a vital part of your health, which need to be obtained through the foods you choose. If you don’t think you are getting enough, consider adding a supplement to your diet.
 
References
  1. Better Health Victoria. Fish. Available at:  https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/fish. Accessed September 2018.
  2. Heart Foundation. Sources of omega-3. Available at: https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/images/uploads/main/Programs/Sources_of_omega_3.pdf. Accessed September 2018.
  3. USA Food and Drug Administration. Advice About Eating Fish. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/downloads/food/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm536321.pdf. Accessed October 2018.
  4. Mayo Clinic. Pregnancy week by week. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy-and-fish/art-20044185. Accessed  September 2018.
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