Omega 3 Fish Sources

Fish contains more omega 3 (n-3) than any other non-vegetarian source. Try to buy wild fish where possible, such as Alaskan Salmon, either fresh or tinned.

What are the best ways of getting omega 3 from fish?

Fresh and canned fish

Canned fish is just as good as fresh fish from an n-3 perspective unless it is canned in oil high in n-6, such as sunflower oil. Choose fish canned in spring water or olive oil.

Canned Salmon: The omega 3 content of canned salmon is comparable to that of fresh, raw salmon. If you cannot afford fresh salmon, buy the cans. Some producers, such as John West, can Wild Alaskan Salmon, which has significant advantages over the farmed variety - see Wild Alaskan Salmon - sound ecological management

How much n-3 does my fish contain?

The data used to compile the following table for the PUFA content of various fish was obtained from the USDA database.

Food Product ALA per 100g EPA per 100g DHA per 100g Total n-3 per 100g Total n-6 per 100g n-3 to n-6 ratio
Black and Red Caviar 0.02g 2.74g 3.80g 6.79g 0.81g 8.4 to 1
Atlantic Mackerel (raw) 0.16g 0.90g 1.40g 2.67g 0.22g 12.1 to 1
Chinook Salmon (raw) 0.09g 1.01g 0.94g 2.34g 0.12g 19.5 to 1
Wild Atlantic Salmon (raw) 0.30g 0.32g 1.12g 2.02g 0.17g 11.9 to 1
Pacific Herring (raw) 0.06g 0.97g 0.69g 1.89g 0.19g 9.9 to 1
Pink Salmon (canned) 0.06g 0.85g 0.81g 1.76g 0.06g 29.3 to 1
Pacific Sardine (canned tom) 0.21g 0.47g 0.77g 1.51g 0.11g 13.7 to 1
European Anchovy (raw) 0.00g 0.54g 0.91g 1.48g 0.10g 14.8 to 1
Bluefin Tuna (raw) 0.00g 0.28g 0.89g 1.30g 0.05g 26 to 1
Greenland Halibut (raw) 0.04g 0.53g 0.39g 1.05g 0.12g 8.8 to 1
Blue Mussels (cooked) 0.04g 0.28g 0.51g 0.87g 0.04g 21.8 to 1
Striped Bass (raw) 0.02g 0.17g 0.59g 0.77g 0.02g 38.5 to 1
Blue Crab (crab cakes) 0.09g 0.23g 0.22g 0.58g 1.58g 0.37 to 1
Pacific Cod (raw) 0.00g 0.08g 0.14g 0.22g 0.01g 22 to 1
Atlantic Cod (raw) 0.00g 0.06g 0.12g 0.20g 0.01g 20 to 1
Note: other n-3 PUFAs may be present so that Total n-3 exceeds the sum of ALA, EPA and DHA in some cases

Take an in-depth look at Wild Alaskan Salmon

Fish oil supplements

Fish oil supplements can provide a very practical and effective way to obtain the n-3 PUFAs EPA and DHA, particularly important for maintaining good brain function and preventing mood swings.

Fish oil supplements are generally available in capsule form. Care is required in selecting high quality supplements that will not become rancid through oxidation due to the high levels of instability exhibited by EPA and DHA. This requires the inclusion of vitamin E in the capsules.

Find out more about omega 3 fish oil supplements
Learn more about the health benefits of EPA and DHA