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Thursday
Mar102011

Where Do You Get Your Omega-3s? (Poll)

Omega-3 fatty acids refer to a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids found in certain foods. Alpha-linolenic acid is considered an essential fatty acid (EFA) for humans because the body cannot make it from other fatty acids. It is found in plant foods, specifically flax seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds, and certain greens. EPA and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are long chain omega-3 fatty acids found in animal foods (fish and wild game) as well as in some algaes. They are the primary constituents of fish oils that seem to protect against heart attack, stroke, cancer and inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

I'm interested: what's your main source of these essential fatty acids?

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Reader Comments (17)

I get my omega-3 fatty acids from fish mostly. I have voted for fish oil. I do not get sea fish such as salmons which are rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, but any fish is good source.
I like the picture of omega-3 very much.

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHealth Blog

The Poll would only allow me to choose 1 source but I like to get my omegas from WA salmon, flax oil and leafy greens as well.

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMK

I buy the Norwegian cod liver oil, lemon flavour in a glass bottle, and add it to my morning shake (2 bananas, raspberries, plain yogurt and almond milk ;)! I'm a Maritime gal, love fish, but since I'm living in Alberta, I don't buy it and wait for fresh fish when near a coastline. I eat a lot of walnuts and leafy greens too but I'd say the primary source would be the bottled oil.

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJane

I use ground flax seed, 1 TLB, 3 times a day, and I eat walnuts. I also take Weil Evening Primrose Oil and Opti 3, a vegan EPA and DHA supplement. In addition, I also eat lots of greens and soy foods, and everything is organic. My favorite breakfast is a bowl of steamed kale with a sprinkling of organic Ohsawa shoyu, organic olive oil, and organic turmeric, yum.

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterorganicwench

My favorite way to get my daily Omega-3 is with fresh ground Flax Seed Sprinkled over my Irish Oatmeal. Maybe the perfect breakfast. Fiber, Essential Fatty Acids and Warm feelings, just like mom used to make :)

Dr. Alec Hochstein "iPodiatrist"
Follow Me on Twitter @iPodiatrist

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Alec Hochstein

Dear Dr. Weil......I would like to pose a question. I have been told about a study coming out of Paris, by a team of vocal specialists that taking Fish Oil Caplets increases vascularity which in turn could cause hemorrhaging of the vocal folds (I am speaking for professional singers who use their voices in more extreme circumstances). Do you agree with this and if so, do you think taking flaxseed would cause the same problem. Are the EFA's the same in both sources. I suffer from mild joint pain and am afraid of anti-inflammatory supplements/medicines for the exact same reason as the Fish Oil. Thank you for your time.....OperaDiva

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOperaDIVA

Although I use flax seed, walnuts, fish oil capsules, and occasionally hemp oil, my favorite mainstay is chia seeds. I sprinkle them onto hot or cold cereal, on ice cream, mix them into my smoothies, mix them into bread dough and pancake batter, etc. It's hard to imagine a dish where they cannot be incorporated in some way. Great stuff! I read a study done with diabetics (sorry can't put my finger on it at the moment, but maybe someone could google it?) that showed that incorporating chia seed into bread dough helped ameliorate the insulin spike that bread would normally trigger due to the extra soluble fiber that chia seeds have, if I recall correctly.

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGarry Williams

I'm interested to see that most people chose the Fish Oil Supplements. It is the only one of the bunch that I don't use to increase my intake of omega 3's; I had always thought that the supplements were a lesser quality way to get your daily quota...

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErin Shea

I chose fish oil supplements because that's the most consistent source for me as I take one daily, but I do try to eat wild Alaskan Salmon once a week and I eat walnuts regularly. I especially love them on a salad or with oatmeal :)

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarybee

You totally forgot about beans and lentils. They are a very good source of omega 3, protein, nutrients and fiber.

I get my omega 3 from multiple sources: Chia seed, flax seed, walnuts, dark leafy greens, beans and lentils. I only occasionally eat fish. I tried to avoid animal flesh.

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRB

I voted for supplements because I take them every day, however, I do love salmon and walnuts, throw some ground flax seed in my breads, cereals, and pancakes, and eat dark leafy greens several times a week.

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Flax Seeds, Kippers and Sockeye Salmon.

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

I used to do flax seeds but switched to chia...love how they gel up in my yogurt. I find choosing a fish oil cap too confusing so I take a Krill oil cap daily too.

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkaren

I find taking high-quality fish oil supplements invaluable for managing my mild-to-moderate depression. I take 2000 mg. per day. If I skip it for some reason, the next day my mood goes down and I am not able to function very well. (Of course, I do a lot of other things, too, to take care of myself that help to ameliorate the depression; the fish oil is just one of them--but a crucial one.) Thank you, Dr. Weil, for bringing attention to this valuable supplement!

My husband and I get it from several sources: fresh fish at least once a week, fish oil supplements daily, and ground flaxseed every morning. We also eat a lot of green leafy veggies in salads.

March 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

Krill oil for me

March 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercat

Flax mostly, my wife makes these killer pancakes loaded with oatmeal, cottage cheese (yes cottage cheese), yogurt, eggs, whole grain flower and ground flax seed. Top them off with a little canola butter and honey. I'm also a big fan of nuts and seeds. Fish in the summer when I can catch them myself. Thanks for the responses to the doc's post, lots of good ideas for sources of good fats. Thanks!

How Much Fat Should I Eat Per Day

March 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJesse Hedeen
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