Salmon on plate

Fighting Heart Disease with Omega-3s

Heart disease continues to be one of the leading causes of death in America. Eating well, exercising regularly, and maintaining body weight are all part of a heart-healthy lifestyle.

A diet rich in the polyunsaturated fatty acids Omega 3 and Omega 6 is vital for good health. Both are essential and must be obtained through food. Omega 6 fatty acids are plentiful in our Western grain based diet. Omega 3 fatty acids are a little harder to include because they are only found in fish and a handful of plant-based sources.

The Benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Seeking and consuming Omega 3 rich foods is worth the effort because of the heart-healthy benefits, such as:

  • Decreased triglycerides
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Decreased risk of heart disease
  • Decreased risk of stroke
  • Decreased risk of sudden cardiac death

Where to Get Your Omega-3s

The American Heart Association recommends eating 3.5 ounce cooked (¾ cup of flaked) fatty fish at least twice per week. Salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, and albacore tuna are excellent sources.

Plant-based omega-3s are found in walnuts, flaxseeds, chia-seeds, brussel sprouts, algal oil, hemp, soybeans and tofu.

According to the AHA, “Increasing omega-3 fatty acid consumption through foods is preferable over supplementation. However, those with coronary artery disease may not get enough omega-3 by diet alone. These people may want to talk to their doctor about supplements. And for those with high triglycerides, even larger doses could help.”

Fatty acids are essential to a healthy diet. Actively seeking and consuming omega-3 rich foods is a preventative step in maintaining a healthy heart.


American Heart Association. (n.d.). Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Retrieved May 23, 2019,

Kris-Etherton, P. M., Harris, W. S., & Appel, L. J. (2003, February 1). Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease. Retrieved May 23, 2019, from

Link, R. (2017, July 17). The 7 Best Plant Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Retrieved May 23, 2019, from

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease: Current State of the Evidence. (2017, July 25). Retrieved May 23, 2019, from

Riediger ND, Othman RA., Suh M, et al (2009).  A systematic review of the roles of n-3 fatty acids in health and disease.  Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 109, 668-679.


Information presented by W(h)ealth should not be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Consult a doctor and/or medical professional before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition.

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