Essential Fatty Acids in Fish
Fresh oily fish is one of the best and most convenient sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids. It is the one major exception to the need to restrict dietary fat intake for optimum health and weight loss. Unlike other foods rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, like flax or linseed oil, fresh fish is freely available. And unlike nuts and seeds – the other main food source of omega-3, oily fish is a much richer source.
The omega-3 essential fatty acids in oily fish are called:
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and,
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
See Fig 1. for the content of omega-3 (EPA and DHA) in fresh fish.
Fig 1. Content of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acid in Fish
Approximate Omega-3 (EPA/DHA) content
in grams per 100 grams of fresh uncooked fish
|Fish (100g)||Omega-3 (g)|
|Trout (Arctic char)||0.6|
Calories, Weight Loss, Fats and Oils
From a calorie viewpoint, all oils are equally fattening.
They contain 120 calories per tablespoon.
- For optimum weight loss, reduce your overall fat/oil consumption to a sensible level: 25-30 percent of calories is very good; although 20-25 per cent is better; while fats expert Udo Erasmus advocates 15-20 per cent.
- Restrict your consumption of saturated fat to a minimum.
- Make fresh oily fish a regular part of your diet.