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Fish Highest in Omega-3: Top Four Omega-3-Rich Fish

Published by Dr. Venn-Watson
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson’s Highlights
    • Omega-3 supplements are popular, but they come with unwanted side effects.
    • Consuming fish at least twice per week can help you get enough omega-3 and prevent you from these side effects. 
    • Substituting your omega-3 supplement with a C15:0 supplement can better support your overall health, without the undesired side effects that come with omega-3 fish oil.* 

We all know we need omega-3 in our diets, but if your go-to solution has been a fish oilsupplement, maybe it’s time to consider cutting out the middleman. Consuming fish in its whole food form is a great way to get omega-3, and is generally more beneficial than taking an omega-3 fish oil supplement. 

Why Do We Need Omega-3?

Many people who take fish oil capsules aren’t really sure why they take them. Sometimes we make “smart” health decisions without fully researching the “why” behind them. If that’s relatable, here’s what you should know about omega-3.

What Is Omega-3?

Omega-3 is a polyunsaturated fatty acid found in foods like oily fish, soybeans, chia seeds, flaxseed oil, walnuts, Brussels sprouts, and hemp seeds.

What Are the Benefits of Omega-3?

Omega-3 may support cardiovascular health, help elevate levels of DHA during pregnancy, and support mental health. 

It’s worth pointing out that the studies that show an association between omega-3 consumption and better heart health, however, are largely made up of people consuming omega-3 in their diets from different types of fish, not from a supplement. 

What Are the Different Types of Omega-3?

There are three different types of omega-3 fatty acids. 

  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)

Interestingly, only one of these (ALA) is considered essential, which means our bodies need it to survive but can’t readily make it on their own. However, you’ll almost always find a combination of all three in a fish oilsupplement. If you’re considering a supplement, there are some things you should know. 

The Secret Life of Omega-3 Supplements

Supplementation can be a scientifically backed way to compensate for gaps in our dietary intake of certain vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. However, taking an omega-3 supplement can come with some less-than-pleasant issues. 

Rancidity 

Because omega-3 is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that is liquid at room temperature, it’s subject to oxidation. This means it can spoil, similar to cooking oil that has been in your pantry too long. It also means that it can go rancid inside your cells. 

More troubling is that independent researchers have found that as many as one in 10 bottles of omega-3 fish oilsupplements are rancid before they ever leave store shelves. 

Dosage

The amount of omega-3 you need to get long-term health benefits (like protection from cardiovascular disease) is very high. Usually, the daily dosage falls between 2,000 and 3,000 mg. At this level, omega-3 has a thinning effect on the blood, which can result in low blood pressure, excessive bleeding if an injury occurs, and a higher likelihood of bruising. 

Fishy Aftertaste

If you’ve ever taken a fish oilsupplement, you’re probably familiar with this fish phenomenon. Because fish oil is harvested from, well, fish, it can be virtually impossible to eliminate the fishy aftertaste or “fish burps” you get when you take these supplements. 

A safer and more natural way to increase your omega-3 intake is by consuming more fish in their whole food form. 

Top Four Omega-3-Rich Fish Groups

Consuming fish as part of your diet is a great way to boost omega-3 levels. The healthy fats found in these fish come packed inside other valuable nutrients, like protein. How much should you eat? The American Heart Association recommends at least two servings per week

Avoiding certain fish that have high mercury contaminants (like swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, shark, and some types of tuna) is important for pregnant women. 

Here, we’ll break down the fish with the highest levels of omega-3.

Note: These amounts are based on a four-ounce cooked fillet or four drained ounces of canned fish. 

1. More than 1,000 mg per serving

The AHA recommends that patients with coronary heart disease consume 1,000 mg of EPA and DHA daily

A serving of each of these fish will get you there fast. 

  • Anchovies
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Black cod
  • Sardines
  • Trout
  • Swordfish
  • Atlantic salmon 
  • Pacific oysters
  • Bluefin tuna 

2. 500-1,000 mg per serving

Getting your omega-3 from these fatty fish is easy. They’re perfect for grilling and baking and make a great addition to a healthy salad. 

  • Albacore tuna
  • Shellfish like crabs and mussels 
  • Alaska pollock 
  • Sockeye salmon 
  • Wild salmon

3. 250-500 mg per serving

Although deepwater fish are often the focus when we talk about omega-3, many freshwater fish still have an impressive omega-3 content. Be aware, however, that some freshwater fish may contain pollutants depending on where they are sourced. 

  • Catfish
  • Halibut
  • Grouper
  • Snapper
  • Clams

4. Less than 250 mg per serving

A healthy lifestyle includes intentionally adding nutrition, and these seafood options allow you to cash in on omega-3, antioxidants, and other important nutrients. 

  • Whitefish
  • Lobster
  • Mahi-mahi
  • Shrimp
  • Tilapia
  • Yellowfin tuna

The next time you’re at dinner, ask the server about the catch of the day. You’ll give yourself a dose of omega-3 without the implications of omega-3 supplements. 

Ready to step up your game and live a lifestyle with a low risk of heart disease? You might want to reconsider your fatty acids altogether. 

A Newer, Better Fatty Acid

Although we’ve heard that all saturated fats are bad for us, science supports that this is not the case. A class of fatty acids, called odd-chain, saturated fatty acids, have been recently discovered to be beneficial to our health. 

One of these acids, pentadecanoic acid (also known as C15:0), is now considered an essential fatty acid, and higher levels of C15:0 have been shown to improve our metabolic, immune, liver and heart health..*

What To Know About C15:0

C15:0 is unlike omega-3 is a stable essential fatty acid that will not oxidize or go rancid like omega-3. Additionally, much lower doses of C15:0 are necessary to convey health benefits. Just 100 mg per day is enough to keep your body fully supplied. 

And when compared to omega-3, C15:0 was found to be better, broader, and safer than the most effective and purest form of omega-3:*

  • Better. C15:0 has twice as many dose-responsive benefits as omega-3, meaning it simply does more for your body and your cells than omega-3 does. 
  • Broader. Of the 12 cell types studied, C15:0 was able to repair 10 of them. Omega-3 could only safely repair four. 
  • Safer. C15:0 was safe for all 12 cell types studied, while omega-3 was found toxic to four of them at higher doses. Cell types killed by omega-3 included blood vessel cells and lung cells. 

The research showed that C15:0 was a better essential fatty acid option than omega-3.* What’s more, C15:0 is also better at keeping your cells healthy than omega-3:*

  • Cell membrane support. C15:0 is a sturdy fatty acid that integrates itself into cell membranes to fortify them and keep them strong. 
  • Mitochondrial function. The batteries inside our cells run low with age. C15:0 has been shown to improve mitochondrial function by 45 percent, which translates into cells that run better, and a body that has more energy. 
  • Improved cellular signaling. By binding to special receptors called PPARs all over the body, C15:0 helps restore balance to functions like sleep, mood, and even appetite. 

C15:0 has more clinically relevant benefits, is safer for our cells, and promotes metabolic, immune, liver and heart healthy, making it the clear winner for improving our cellular health.*

Finding C15:0 in Your Diet

C15:0 is primarily found in trace levels in whole-fat dairy products. However, simply increasing your intake of whole-fat dairy products comes with extra calories, sugars, and high levels of the "bad" even-chain saturated fats.

A solution? Fatty15.

Elevate your cells. Elevate your self.

Buy Now

Fatty15 is a breakthrough supplementborn from scientific discovery, containing one pure ingredient, FA15™, the pure, vegan-friendly, sustainably produced, award winning form of C15. Fatty15 is available as a once-a-day dietary supplement to help restore your circulating levels of this essential fatty acid to promote your long-term health and wellness.*

Fish + Fatty: A Winning Combination

You know your body needs omega-3, but you may be able to get the amounts you need from eating certain types of fish.. Now, you also know your body needs C15:0, which may be best obtained through a dietary supplement. Switching from a fish oil supplement to fatty15 can help support your metabolic, immune, liver and heart health and eliminate your risk of developing the side effects from fish oilsupplements.* No more fish burps!

So go ahead, fire up the grill and toss on a salmon filet; just don’t forget to take your fatty15.

Sources:

Revealed: many common omega-3 fish oilsupplements are ‘rancid’ | The Guardian

Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids | American Heart Association

Which Fish is the richest in Omega-3s? | Seafood Nutrition.org

Efficacy of dietary odd-chain saturated fatty acid pentadecanoic acid parallels broad associated health benefits in humans: could it be essential? | Nature.com

Profile photo for Eric Venn-Watson

Eric Venn-Watson M.D.

Eric is a physician, U.S. Navy veteran, and Co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. Eric served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Seraphina Therapeutics is a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the discovery of essential fatty acids and micronutrient therapeutics.

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