Omega 3's

What are they?   

The fat we eat can be divided into three main types - saturated fats, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. The polyunsaturated fats are considered the best of the bunch in terms of health, and our friend omega-3 is one type of polyunsaturated fat found in the fatty layers of fish and seafood as well as plants and nuts.

Why are they so important?

You may have heard omega-3s (and also omega-6s) also being called essential fatty acids. This is because although our bodies are pretty clever at making some fats, we are unable to produce omega-3s and -6s, making them ‘essential’ to get from our food.

Why are they good for us?

When it comes to health, it’s important to remember that not all omega-3s are created equal.  ALA is a type of short chain omega-3 and found in plant based foods such as legumes, walnuts and canola oil. While these are good for our health, it is the long chain omega-3s, particularly the more common EPA and DHA varieties found in fish oils that show the best health benefit, and help a healthy heart.

How do we get them?

Eating fish is the easiest way to get long chain omega-3s.  To keep us healthy we need a minimum of 90mg for women and 160mg for men, every day. More recently the Ministry of Health set a Suggested Daily Target which is a level that will help reduce the risk of chronic disease. This is 430mg for women and 610mg for men.

The general recommendation is to eat fish or seafood a few times a week, however oily fish contains a much higher amount of long-chain omega-3s than other fish so it’s important to have a variety. Here are our top picks: 

Product (serving size)

Long chain omega-3 (EPA and DHA) per serve

Daily dose (approximately)

Frozen Salmon Fillets (130g)

676mg

 

1 ½ days' worth for women
1  day worth for men

Frozen Salmon Pieces (100g)

 

431mg

1 ¼ days’ worth for women
¾ day worth for men

Tinned Red Salmon (85g drained)

1403mg

3 ½  days’ worth for women
2 ½  days’ worth for men

Chunky style tuna in oil (100g drained)

336mg

¾ day worth for women
½ day worth for men

Hoki frozen natural (106g)

265mg

⅔ day worth for women
Under ½ day worth for men

 

Tip: Look for the ‘good source of omega-3’ label on a number of our products - you can be assured that these will have at least 60mg of EPA and DHA per serve!