Omega-3s

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.

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

2/3 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!