Which are the richest fish oils in omega-3s?

Salmon, sardine, anchovy, cod liver, and herring oils are the richest fish oils in omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, most omega-3 supplements are made of sardine and anchovy oils. Just a tsp of fish oil provides more than the required daily intake of omega-3s!

Best fish oil to boost your daily omega-3 intake

Salmon oil is the richest fish oil in omega-3s. 39% of the fat in salmon oil is omega-3 fatty acids. Sardine, anchovy, cod liver, and herring oils are also particularly rich in omega-3s.

omega-3sEPADHA% total fat
salmon oil38.81318.239%
sardine oil29.910.110.730%
cod liver oil21.66.91122%
herring oil14.56.34.214%
Omega-3s in fish oils (g/100g).[1]

Actually, the main types of omega-3s in fish oils are EPA and DHA. These have many health benefits. For instance, DHA is particularly high in the retina, brain, and sperm. Adequate intakes of EPA and DHA may protect the eyes and the brain.[2]

Many omega-3 supplements contain anchovies and sardines. These are the cheapest fish oils.

Are fish oils safe?

Certainly, fish oils have extremely high amounts of omega-3s. We shouldn’t consume too much. Consuming more omega-3s than the maximum safe dosage for a long time may lead to side effects.

DHA & EPA (g)
per tbsp
% DV% max dose
salmon oil4.21,697%212%
sardine oil2.81,132%141%
cod liver oil2.4974%122%
herring oil1.4570%71%
DHA & EPA in a tbsp.

As you can see, a tbsp of any fish oil is particularly high in omega-3s. This amount contains higher doses than the maximum safe intake! Hence, better consume no more than a tsp of fish oil a day.

DHA & EPA (g)
per tsp
% DV% max dose
salmon oil1.4562%70%
sardine oil0.9374%47%
cod liver oil0.8322%40%
herring oil0.5189%24%
DHA & EPA in a tsp.

Always consult your health care provider before taking any dietary supplement or changing your diet.

Fish oils vs vegetable oils

There are certain vegetable oils, such as flaxseed oils, and walnut oils, which are great dietary sources of omega-3s as well. A tbsp of certain omega-3-rich vegetable oils can also provide more than the required daily intake.

Actually, flaxseed oil is the richest omega-3 dietary source. It has approximately 38% more omega-3s than salmon oil.

But, flaxseed oil and other omega-3-rich vegetable oils don’t have the same nutritional value as fish oil. Vegetable oils don’t contain any DHA or EPA. They’re rich in another omega-3 type. known as ALA. ALA is found mainly in plant-based foods.

In fact, ALA is the only essential fatty acid. We have to get it from food. ALA is converted into EPA and then to DHA. However, this conversion is very limited. Less than 15% of ALA is converted into other forms of omega-3s. Thus, we should get DHA and EPA from seafood, fish, or omega-3 supplements with fish oil or algae.

Fish oil or algae supplements?

Nuts, seeds, purslane, certain vegetable oils, and avocado are the main plant-based foods high in omega-3s. But, plant-based foods are mainly ALA. They have negligible amounts of DHA or EPA.

Vegans, vegetarians, and people who follow a plant-based diet can get high amounts of DHA and EPA from algae supplements. Algae are the only good plant-based sources of DHA and EPA.

A serving of algae provides approximately 500 mg of DHA. Some algae supplements also provide 113 mg of EPA per serving. These amounts are similar to a tsp of fish oil or a serving of omega-3 supplements from fish oil.

You can get a wide variety of omega-3 supplements either from algae or fish oil on iHerb.

Side effects of omega-3s from fish oil

Reasonable doses of fish oil from omega-3 supplements, as part of a well-balanced diet, are considered pretty safe.

Few side effects are reported with the consumption of fish oil. High dosages of fish oil may cause gastrointestinal upset, fishy aftertaste, bleeding, vomiting, rash, fatigue, constipation, nausea, or diarrhea.[3,4]

These side effects are dose-dependent. Healthy people who experience one or more of these side effects probably got too much fish oil.

Always consult your physician before taking a dietary supplement. Especially, people with certain health issues, or patients who take drugs.

Can fish help us meet our daily needs of omega-3s?

If you follow a wall=balanced diet, there is no need to take fish oil. Eating fish can help us meet our daily needs of omega-3s as well.

Many fish are particularly rich in omega-3s. Mackerel, herring, sardine, anchovy, tuna, trout, and salmon are the richest fish in omega-3s. They provide 50-150% of the required daily intake per serving!

omega-3s (g)
per 100g
omega -3s (g)
per serving
% DV% total fat
Omega-3-rich fish.

Above all, fish are great dietary sources of DHA and EPA.

EPA (g)DHA (g)
EPA & DHA in fish (g/100g)

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