A List of Omega-3 Rich Foods That Are Also Keto-friendly
As we previously wrote about in our article “Scientific Health Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids” there are many reasons why you should incorporate omega 3’s into your diet, regardless of which diet you follow.
For starters, they have been shown to protect against heart disease, cancer, ADHD, dementia, and more. Plus, they help reduce inflammation, give you great looking skin and hair, and fight autoimmunity.
There are two ways to get more omega 3’s in your diet. You can either take a supplement or get them in whole food form.
Although supplementation is always a great option, your body prefers to get the nutrients it needs from food.
Caviar is another term for fish eggs. It’s often eaten as a garnish or appetizer. Caviar is a good source of choline and contains 1086 mg of omega 3 fatty acids per tablespoon or 6789 mg per 100 grams (1).
Salmon is one of the most popular types of fish to eat worldwide and it is one of the best sources of healthy fats for keto.
You’ll see it on lunch and dinner menus alike. You want to make sure you’re buying wild-caught salmon when you eat it because it has not been treated with chemicals or medications that farmed-raised fishes go through.
There ia 4023 mg of omega 3 fatty acids in a half of a fillet or 2260 mg in a 100-gram serving. You can also take wild-caught salmon fish oil, which contains 4767 mg of omega 3’s in one tablespoon.
Related: The Keto Guide to Seafood
Walnuts are often referred to as “brain food” because they are high in omega 3 fatty acids. Ironically, they also look like a brain, so it makes it easy to remember.
They provide a good source of copper, vitamin E, antioxidants (as long as you eat them with the skin intact), manganese and copper.
A one-ounce serving of walnuts (about 14 halves) contains 2542 mg of omega 3 fatty acids (4).
Mackerel is the second highest omega-3 rich fatty fish behind salmon. This small, fatty fish is most commonly eaten smoked and in whole form at breakfast in Westernized countries, but we recommend incorporating mackerel to lunch and dinner dishes as well.
Research shows that a 100 gram serving (3.5 ounces) of mackerel provides 200 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin B12 and 100 percent of your selenium needs. That’s on top of the 4107 mg of omega 3 fatty acids in one piece, or 5134 mg for every 3.5-ounce serving (5).
Herring is another oily fish high in omega 3 fatty acids. It is often sold as a precooked and cold smoked, canned snack, so you’ll want to be careful when picking out a brand.
Make sure you’re getting a high-quality fish, such as an all natural wild caught product. Most people eat it in the morning with eggs for the perfect keto breakfast.
Research shows that one smoked herring filled contains nearly 100 percent of your recommended daily intake of selenium and vitamin D, as well as 50 percent for vitamin B12 (6).
One filet also contains 3181 mg of omega 3 fatty acids or 1729 mg for every 100-gram serving.
If you’re noticing a theme here, it’s that seafood, shellfish and fish contain lots of omega 3 fatty acids. Oysters are no exception. In fact, they are highly nutritious.
Research shows that oysters contain more zinc than any other food available. For every 100 gram serving of oysters, you’ll get 600 percent of the recommended daily intake of zinc, 300 percent of vitamin B12 and 200 percent of copper (7, 8).
Most people eat oysters as an appetizer and not the main course. They contain 565 mg of omega 3 fatty acids for every six oysters or 672 mg for every 100-gram serving.
Sardines are a small, oily fish, but they are packed full of nutrition. Eating the whole fish provides you with over 200 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 and over 100 percent of selenium and vitamin C (9).
There is 2205 mg of omega 3 fatty acids per cup of sardines or 1480 mg per 100 grams.
Flaxseeds are sold in whole or ground form. You can add them to salads, smoothies, or baked dishes. Some people even like to use flaxseeds as an alternative to gluten when cooking.
Research shows that flaxseeds are the best source of ALA, and many people take flaxseed oil in supplement form. You can also cook with flaxseed oil or drizzle it on your salads. They are high in vitamin E, fiber, magnesium, and more.
Anchovies are tiny fish, even smaller than sardines. They often come in a jar with oil or in dried form. Some people like to add them to pizza or on salads, but because they tend to have a strong flavor, it’s best to eat them in smaller amounts or add them to sauces (unless you really like them!).
Anchovies are a good source of calcium, niacin, and selenium. They contain 951 mg of omega 3 fatty acids per two-ounce can or 2113 mg per 100 grams (14).
Chia seeds are right up there with flaxseeds in terms of being packed full of nutrition. They are extremely energy dense and provide an excellent source of fiber.
A two-tablespoon serving of chia seeds contains all eight essential amino acids and four grams of protein. A one-ounce serving provides 4915 mg of omega 3 fatty acids (15).
Cod Liver Oil
Most people use cod liver oil in supplement form and not so much as a cooking oil. You only need a little bit to get the omega 3’s you need, so it’s easiest to take it by the spoonful or in capsule form. Cod liver oil is extracted from the livers of cod fish.
You’ll want to make sure you find a high-quality, clean source of cod to avoid any harmful additives or chemicals, such as wild-caught cod liver oil.
Research shows that cod liver oil is high in vitamins A and D. One serving provides 338 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin D and 270 percent of vitamin A (16).
Because of its high vitamin profile, you’ll want to make sure you don’t take too much of it. One single tablet of cod liver provides you with more vitamin A and D than you need for one day! One tablespoon also provides you with 2664 mg of omega 3 fatty acids.
Additionally, the omega 3’s that are found in grass-fed beef tends to be made up of mostly ALA, which is usually only found in plant-based sources.
Other High Omega 3 Foods
You can get a small amount of omega 3 fatty acids from pasture-raised eggs and grass-fed beef. It’s important to make sure you aren’t buying conventionally grown meats and animal products as they tend to be less nutritious and pumped full of chemicals.
Pasture-raised eggs mean that the chickens have had room to roam and are free to eat from pastures as opposed to being strictly grain-fed. The same goes for cows who are grass-fed.
Research shows that pasture-raised eggs have twice as much vitamin E and more than double the amount of omega 3 fatty acids when compared to conventionally raised eggs. They also have a better omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acid ratio, which means that you’re getting more anti-inflammatory omega 3’s and fewer inflammatory omega 6’s (17, 18).
Other keto-friendly omega-3 honorable mentions include grass-fed dairy products, vegetables such as spinach and brussels sprouts, and hemp seeds.
If you find it hard to get your omega 3 needs from foods, consider taking these Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplements.