Animal-Based Sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids


The most well-known and widely available source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is cold-water oily fish, such as mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines and anchovies. However, most seafood (including shellfish) contains these fatty acids, although generally speaking, the more fat a fish has, the greater the concentration of omega-3s. Two 3-ounce servings of oily fish are recommended per week.

Although concerns about the potential presence of heavy metals and fat-soluble pollutants such as PCBs and dioxin in fish have been raised, research has suggested that the benefits that the regular consumption of fish far outweigh any potential risks.


Meat can also contain good levels of omega 3 fatty acids, especially grass-fed animals (as opposed to grain-fed stock).


Eggs produced by chickens raised on a diet of insects and greens produce higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids (mainly ALA) than those that are fed on corn. In some cases, fish oils, flax and canola seeds may be also added to the chickens' diet in order to increase the amount of omega 3 concentrations in their eggs.


Dairy products, such as cheese, milk and yoghurt can provide good amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, especially if the cows are fed on grass. One study showed that a piece of organic cheese the size of a matchbox could provide up to 88% of the recommended intake of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), whilst half a pint of milk could provide 10%.