News & tips on health, fitness and nutrition

Monday, June 8, 2009

11 Easy Ways to Load Up on Healthy Omega-3 Fats

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to good health, but their benefits may be missed because the American diet is chock full of omega-6 fatty acids instead. (Learn more about the pros and cons of omega-3s and 6s here.) Many foods contain both fatty acids. To ensure you get your fill of -3, you'll need to be conscientious at the grocery store. Here are 11 ways to get more omega-3 and crowd out omega-6:

Salmon. This fatty fish is exploding with omega-3 and is relatively low in omega-6. It just may be the best omega-3 bang for your buck in the seafood aisle.

Bluefin tuna. This fatty fish is packed with omega-3s and low in omega-6. Not so keen on tuna? You've got choices: mackerel, herring, and rainbow trout.

Anchovies and sardines. Though not everyone's favorite, these slimy, oily options are other good omega-3 sources. They also tend to be high in sodium, though.

Crustaceans. Fish isn't the only kind of seafood that packs an omega-3 wallop. Shrimp, mollusks, and Alaskan king crab are also excellent sources that also won't load you up with omega-6.

Oils. Throw a dash of flaxseed oil onto salad and start cooking with canola oil for a nice hit of omega-3. By subbing out other vegetable oils (like soybean, corn, and cottonseed oils), you'll also lessen your omega-6 load.

Beans. Some legumes are better than others for tipping the omega balance your way. Kidney, pinto, and mungo beans will do you right. Chickpeas are less helpful.

Nuts and seeds. Add a nutty flavor to salad, yogurt, or morning mueslix with walnuts or flaxseed. A small handful of either will up your omega-3 intake.

Spinach. Popeye was on to something. Serve up this leafy green in a salad, or sauté it and add it to pasta.

Winter squash. Keep an eye out for this seasonal vegetable—it makes an interesting side dish that boosts your omega-3 intake.

Broccoli and cauliflower. These cruciferous veggies are on your side when it comes to omega-3s.

Papaya. A tropical delight, papaya may be the only fruit in your supermarket with more omega-3 than omega-6.

No comments: