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Omega-3… not all fish are created equal!

How to Choose Cold Water Fish for Omega-3s…

Not all fish are created equal. And Yes, some fish contain the other sort of fat which is not really great for you. Having said that, there are good fats in fish, called Omega3, that can be found mainly in cold water, fatty fish. Cold-water fish are full of healthy polyunsaturated fats, or PUFAs, and monounsaturated fats, MUFAs. They are high in polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids. Eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, also known as EHA and DHA, are the good fats that you find in cold-water fish. Between 20 -35% of your diet should come from fats, or 44 – 77 grams a day if you follow a 2,000-calorie diet. The majority of your fat intake should come from these fats instead of harmful trans and saturated fats.


Warm-water fish, such as tilapia and bass do not provide as much of these heart-healthy fats. For example, a 3.5-ounce serving of broiled salmon provides 1.5 grams of monounsaturated fat and nearly 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, versus about 1 gram of monounsaturated fat and .5 gram of polyunsaturated fat for the same portion of broiled tilapia.

Here’s how to choose the right catch for Omega 3!

1. Go for Saltwater Fish

Salt water fish tend to have more omega-3s than freshwater varieties. Saltwater fish go deeper, so they have more omega-3 fatty acids as insulation. Mackerel, Sardine, Trout, Salmon are great picks as they contain high amounts of this fatty acid.

2. Go for Wild Fish

Of course wild is better than farmed. Farm raised fish might have more fat than those that have been caught in the wild, but this fat will not contain as much of the usable omega-3 that you need. Wild caught fish have by far the most Omega3.

3. Avoid Fish with High Mercury Levels

This one is not always easy because who’s to say, if the fish has been swimming in mercury waters or not. Well the best way is to read labels – “mercury free” might cost more, but it is worth it. Also buy from reputable vendors/sources.

4. Eat Fresh Fish Instead of Fish Oil Supplements

This is a no brainer. Why pop pills when you have the real thing. And if you are too busy to prepare the fish, then by all means visit a reputable Japanese restaurant who will make sashimi for you. Fish oil supplements might be super high in omega-3 fatty acids, but it is better that you absorb the fats from a natural state, rather than pills which may result in OD (as it is too easy to over pop pills, but by eating, at least you will stop once you feel full).

5. Go Raw!

How you prepare your fish is important. Even if you have the perfect Mackerel specimen.. and you deep fry it to death, there goes your omega3. I love mine raw.. especially, salmon and tuna belly… You could also try the following :
A 3-ounce portion of tuna, herring, salmon, mackerel or sardines provides about 150 calories and less than 9 grams of fat. Grill or broil your fish rather than heavy batter and frying to keep fat and calorie content low. Now there are oil free fryers (airfryers) on the market you can try as well. If you love fish and chips try dusting salmon or other cold-water fish with flour, dipped in egg, lightly coated with ground rice crisp cereal and dried herbs. Bake it in the oven for the best crunchy results that are still pretty healthy!

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