View Full Version : Dietary sources of omega-3's

Brad Hirakawa
12-17-2006, 06:28 AM
Am I correct to assume grass munching cows and fish are the primo sources of these fats?

Guess I'm looking for other sources to add to my diet, that have a favorable fat ratio/balance. Anyone have a bona fide list of other foods to eat in this sense?


Mike ODonnell
12-17-2006, 06:57 AM
Fish don't eat Grass.

Mike ODonnell
12-17-2006, 07:02 AM
Oh yeah....forgot to add:

Cold water fish who live in the ocean (not farmed) and grass fed meats are decent sources. Walnuts also are high in omega 3 as well as flaxseeds. The easiest way of course is fish oil which is concentrated and you know what you are getting.

Of course at the other end of the spectrum is the amount of omega 6s in your diet. It really won't do much good if you get some omega 3s but also have 10x the amount of omega 6s in your diet. Stay away from fatty meats (red meat, pork, turkey, deli meats) that are grain fed, egg yolks from grain fed chickens, anything cooked with veg oils, etc. You are looking for a good balance of omega 3:6 like 1:2-4....most modern diets are 1:25-50. Find the hidden sources of veg oils/omega 6s...those are the real culprits of inflammation. (Also could see a thread on AA and inflammation here)

Brad Hirakawa
12-17-2006, 09:31 AM
Fish don't eat grass? No shit? I had no idea. I'll stop using grass cubes as trout bait. (just kidding)

Thank you for the link. Good starter info there. I should just browse though the billion pages of literature at work, but my company doesn't pay me to research nutrition.

When you get the chance, would you please explain "Get rid of all source of veg oils in your diet (if any...soy, corn, sunflower)." Am I correct in reading that if we're going to eat veggie oils, we should select for soy, corn, and sunflower over the others? Thanks in advance for the help.

Perhaps I'll cave in and buy the paleo book (get it.. cave-man in..) or that anti-inflam book.


Mike ODonnell
12-17-2006, 10:59 AM
Corn and sunflower fall into that catagory of high in Omega 6s, whether it is fed to an animal, converted into AA and then served to you through the meat or eggs, or directly in your diet. Source means the ones that may be in your food that you do not know about. But if you are not eating processed/baked foods, or ordering takeout with food cooked in the oils...you should be ok. Perfect example is Muscle Milk which alot of people use....protein should be good right? But it has a high level of omega 6s as fats...so another source you dont need.

Brad Hirakawa
12-17-2006, 02:16 PM
Thanks for the information! Much appreciated!


Neal Winkler
12-17-2006, 02:26 PM
Like Mike said, ocean caught fish and grass fed meats are the only good dietary sources of omega-3. However, I disagree that walnuts are a good source, their omega-6:omega-3 ratio is 5:1. Other than that, you have to go with fish oil/cod liver oil/krill oil. Also, the flaxseed has a form of omega-3 that must be converted to EPA and DHA before it is used by the body, but the conversion ratio is very low, in the order of 5%, so it isn't that hot of a source either.

The best oils to use are olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernal oil, and grass fed lard and tallow.

Brad Hirakawa
12-17-2006, 02:38 PM
Grassfed lard... cool! Honestly never heard of that. I will track some down.


Brad Hirakawa
12-17-2006, 05:18 PM
Instead of bombarding yall with more questions, I talked with an old pro for some advice and will ante up and buy a diet book (Protein Power Lifeplan for starters) and spend the next week reading up on Cordain's work. I am particularly looking forward to the references section of his site and that book. Yummy.

No one will be at the lab, so I might as well have fun on my company's dime. :)

Neal Winkler
12-17-2006, 06:49 PM
Skip Cordain's book and just read his journal articles on his site. Protein Power Lifeplan is a must have, though.

Mike ODonnell
12-18-2006, 05:05 AM
However, I disagree that walnuts are a good source, their omega-6:omega-3 ratio is 5:1. Other than that, you have to go with fish oil/cod liver oil/krill oil.

Actually it's more 4:1 ALA/LA ratio...but who is nitpicking. Ha.

I basically mentioned the walnuts because they are one of the best "whole" food sources for omega 3s, and also fall into the ideal ratio of where our omega 3-6 should be. Omega 6s are necessary as well, but need to be kept under control. Especially the conversion into AA which is the main issue of inflammation.

But, if you are looking for more omega 3s to counter act a high level of Omega 6 in your diet/body, then I totally agree Fish Oil is necessary. (prob 99% of us need that minus some people eating whale blubber all day at the north pole) Interesting is the ratio of EPA/DHA and while EPA is needed for anti-inflammation, we may need more DHA which can not be provided by normal fish oil (related thread on this already).

Neal Winkler
12-18-2006, 07:51 AM
I just doubel checked the USDA database, you are right, english walnuts have a 4:1 ratio. However, black walnuts have a 16:1 ratio. I've never seen a ratio of 4:1 referenced, the highest I have seen is 3:1, where did you get that?

Scott Kustes
12-18-2006, 09:36 AM
Don't forget sardines and canned salmon with the bones and skin. Both are cheap souces of fish that you can use with nothing more than a can opener and a fork. I take the canned salmon and heat it in a tbsp of palm oil with some cumin, paprika, and turmeric and add it as the protein in my salads.

Brad Hirakawa
12-27-2006, 09:54 AM
I picked up a large bottle of Carlsons Lemon Flavored Fish oil last week.

Very tasty. Instead of scotch or a martini, I now drink Fish Oil on the rocks. It sips supprisingly well after dinner.

And... no hangover.


Jeremy Jones
12-27-2006, 03:37 PM
Accept when it comes out the other side. . . fast and furious.

Joe Hart
03-08-2007, 07:59 PM
Omega-3s are a fatty acid, right? The reason that I ask is my wife has Lymphangectasia (pretty mush the lymph leaks into her gut). She is on a low dietary fat diet (10g/day) and supplements with MCT (yummy). I know fish oil is longer than MCT, becasue you guys answered the question at CF. I suspect that she might have some inflammation (due to what docs have said with previous CT scans, MRIs, and other tests). Is there a way to get the anti-inflammation of Omega 3s without it going through the standard fatty acid retrieval, through the lymph system? Now that I have written this out, I suspect not, but I would really like to be wrong.

Robb Wolf
03-10-2007, 10:38 AM
That is a tough one. Twinlabs makes an emulsified omega-3 oil that MIGHT be helpful. She may be in a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Low n-3's and high inflammation but a challenge to ingest n-3's. I dug around on pubmed for 30 minutes and could find nothing about the condition and n-3 absorption.

Joe Hart
03-10-2007, 03:39 PM
What is pubmed?

Mike ODonnell
03-10-2007, 07:14 PM
What is pubmed?


Joe Hart
03-10-2007, 08:34 PM
Thanks. Now to see if there is anything about what is ailing my wife.