The Heart Foundation has recently recommended all Australian adults without existing heart disease should consume 500 milligrams of marine-source omega-3 oils daily. People with heart disease should double that dose to 1000 milligrams daily.
Omega-3 oils are a type of polyunsaturated fat which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. To get your recommended intake, the Heart Foundation advises:
1. Two to three 150 gram serves of oily fish every week
Oily fish include Atlantic and Australian salmon, blue-eye trevalla, blue mackerel, gemfish, canned salmon, canned sardines, oysters and some varieties of canned tuna.
150 grams of Atlantic salmon provides 500-850 milligrams of omega-3 (marine-source). A 150 gram serving of some canned salmon or sardines provides >2000 milligrams of omega-3 (marine-source). By comparison, 150 grams of ling (a non-oily fish) may provide <160 milligrams of omega-3 (marine-source).
Note that deep-fried takeaway fish is low in omega-3 and is often cooked in unhealthy oils. It does not reduce the risk of heart disease.
2. Supplement this with fish oil supplements (capsules or oil) and omega-3 enriched food and drinks
Enriched foods may include eggs, bread and milk.
Look for supplements with the highest EPA and DHA (omega-3 oils) content. Add them for the total dose in the particular food.
3. Consume at least 2 grams of plant-source omega-3 every day
Plant-source omega-3 can be found in fats and oil such as canola oil and soybean oil, in linseeds (flaxseeds) and walnuts. So, for example, eat 2 slices of soy and linseed bread spread with canola-based margarine or 30 grams of walnuts daily.
Speak to your doctor for more information or go to the Heart Foundation
to see the guidelines.
Health Update, 4 October 2008
Please note this information was correct at time of printing.
For up to date information, speak to your doctor.