Ideas for Omega-3 Foods, Morning to Night

It’s easy to work foods rich in omega-3s into your everyday diet. You’ll find them in many familiar foods.

Two kinds, EPA and DHA, are in naturally fatty fish (like salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel). They’re the best source, and the American Heart Association recommends eating this type of fish twice a week. (If you don’t eat fish, you can ask your doctor if supplements would help.)

Another type, called ALA, comes from plant foods like walnuts, canola oil, chia seeds, soy, flaxseeds, leafy green vegetables, and navy beans. Your body can change it into EPA and DHA, but it doesn’t do this very well. Some cereals, milks, eggs, and yogurt are fortified with omega-3s.

Try these options:

Breakfast

  • A bowl of cereal with fortified milk, soy milk, or almond milk
  • An omelet with fortified eggs
  • Cold cereal or oatmeal with chopped walnuts, pumpkin seeds, ground flaxseeds, or chia seeds
  • A breakfast shake with fortified milk, tofu, frozen berries, fruit juice, and ice

Lunch

  • Soups and salads with walnuts, flaxseeds, or chia seeds
  • Leafy greens and albacore tuna salad with low-fat mayonnaise
  • A tossed salad with walnut oil and balsamic vinegar
  • A grilled salmon burger with fresh baby spinach

Snack

  • Sardines in mustard or tomato sauce with flaxseed crackers
  • A handful of walnuts and dried fruit
  • Yogurt with chia seeds and fresh fruit
  • Edamame (steamed green soybeans) with a little bit of salt

Dinner

  • Salmon, trout, or halibut. Your serving should be a little bigger than a pack of cards.  Bake, broil or grill it. Serve with roasted Brussels sprouts.
  • Kale and white bean stew
  • Navy bean and ham soup
  • Chili with kidney beans and ground turkey
  • Soybean pasta with ground turkey breast and light tomato sauce
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on April 17, 2017

Sources

SOURCES:

National Institute of General Medical Sciences: "What Do Fats Do in the Body?"

American Heart Association: "Triglycerides."

MedLine Plus: "Triglycerides."

Miller, M. Circulation, April 18, 2011.

American Heart Association: "Fish 101."

Cleveland Clinic: "Plant Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids."

Harvard School of Public Health: "Ask the Expert: Omega-3 Fatty Acids."

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Omega-3 Fatty Acids."

Cancer.org: "Omega-3 Fatty Acids."

Tur, J. British Journal of Nutrition, June 2012.

Food Insight: "Functional Foods Fact Sheet: "Omega-3 Fatty Acids."

The Soy Connection: "2012 Soyfoods Guide."

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