Top 8 Fish for Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential form of dietary fat with several health benefits. Fatty fish is high in two main types of omega-3s, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Because of their omega-3 content, regular consumption of fish is associated with significantly lower rates of heart disease.

The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of fish every week. One serving equals 3.5 ounces of cooked fish or 3/4 cup of flaked fish. Choosing from a variety of different fish helps reduce your exposure to environmental pollutants, like mercury. Here are eight delicious fish to add to your grocery list.

1

Herring

Herring

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Herring is often pickled and served as an appetizer before meals, but these small fish can be also cooked on the grill, in the oven, or on the stovetop. Herring is a great source of protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, niacin, vitamin B-12, and selenium.

A 100-gram portion of Atlantic herring (unpickled) is only 158 calories and delivers 18 grams of protein (roughly 36% of the recommended daily value).

2

Salmon

Salmon

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Salmon steaks and fillets can be baked, grilled, sauteed, or poached. Keep a can of salmon on hand to make salmon salads or sandwiches anytime you're looking for a nutritious meal. Along with omega 3s, salmon is also high in protein, magnesium, potassium, niacin, vitamin B-12, and vitamin A.

A 100-gram portion of wild salmon is 142 calories and offers 20 grams of protein.

3

Mackerel

Mackerel

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Mackerel is often smoked or canned, but fresh mackerel fillets can also be grilled or baked. To avoid mercury, choose Pacific rather than King mackerel. Besides the omega-3 fatty acids, mackerel is high in vitamin B-12, niacin, selenium, magnesium, iron, and potassium, plus a fair amount of protein.

A 100-gram portion of mackerel is 161 calories and packs 25 grams of protein.

4

Sardines

Sardines

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Sardines are small, oily fish that you typically find in cans. They're often served with crackers as an appetizer. Fresh sardines may be available at a fish market and can be grilled, fried, baked, or smoked. In addition to protein and healthy fats, sardines are high in vitamin D, niacin, and calcium.

A 100-gram can of sardines is 208 calories and delivers an impressive 25 grams of protein and 353 milligrams of calcium.

5

Anchovies

anchovies on a plate

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Anchovies are often found on pizza or Caesar salads. Get them from the canned food aisle when you go grocery shopping. Fresh anchovies can be grilled or used in recipes that call for sardines. You can also purchase anchovy paste to add flavor and nutrition to sauces. Anchovies are high in protein, calcium, potassium, selenium, vitamin B-12, and niacin.

Although you are unlikely to eat 100 grams of anchovies in one sitting, this amount contains 210 calories, 29 grams of protein, and 10 grams of unsaturated fat.

6

Halibut

Halibut

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Halibut is a great option for people who don't like the strong flavor of most oily ocean fish. It's a mild, white fish that's still high in omega-3 fatty acids. Halibut is also an excellent source of protein, potassium, and niacin.

A 100-gram portion of Alaskan halibut is a mere 90 calories and offers 19 grams of protein. Halibut is also high in potassium with 435 milligrams per serving.

7

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Rainbow trout is another mild, white fish, so it's perfect for people who don't like the fishy taste of salmon or tuna. Besides being high in omega-3 fatty acids, rainbow trout is also a good source of protein, calcium, magnesium, and niacin.

A 100-gram portion of wild rainbow trout is 119 calories with 20 grams of protein and several B-vitamins.

8

Tuna

Tuna

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Tuna is typically served as fillets or steaks. It can be grilled, baked, or broiled. You'll also find canned tuna in your local grocery store. Sushi restaurants often serve a high-grade type of tuna known as Ahi Tuna. Pregnant women and anyone with a compromised immune system should avoid raw tuna, even when it's from a reputable restaurant.

Tuna is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B-12, and niacin.

A 100-grams of chunk white albacore tuna canned in water has 130 calories, 28 grams of protein, and 2 to 3 grams of heart-healthy fats.

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