For Heart-Healthy Omega-3 Benefits, Eat More Fat

Filed Under: Heart Health, Omega-3s, Food and Nutrition, Nutrients and Additives
Last Reviewed 12/17/2015

Get omega-3 benefits from seed oils, leafy vegetables, and natural fish oil sources.

Learn which foods I recommend to get the most heart-healthy omega-3 benefits. 

We often hear about the fats we shouldn’t eat, like fried greasy foods. But what still gets little press is the fact that the majority of Americans are getting far too little of another vital fat that you need in a heart-healthy diet: omega-3 essential fatty acids. Omega-3 benefits support the heart, brain, joints, and more. 

Some Omega-3 Benefits Include:

  • Promoting normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Keeping blood pressure levels in the normal range
  • Supporting arterial health by promoting proper blood vessel dilation

Other omega-3 benefits include keeping your mind sharp, your joints healthy, and your skin soft and supple.

Yet, Getting Natural Sources of Omega-3s in Your Heart-Healthy Diet Can Be Tough

Some of the best natural sources of omega-3s to include in a heart-healthy diet are flaxseed, hemp, and pumpkin seed oils, as well as dark leafy green vegetables. But the source I prefer above all others in a heart-healthy diet is fish. The best natural fish oil sources are cold-water fish like wild salmon and mackerel. 

Get more of Dr. Sinatra's advice on Omega-3s

Another popular way to get omega-3 benefits is by taking omega-3 oil supplements, which can be found at health food and grocery stores. These omega-3 supplements can come from algae, fish, and calamari oils. However, be selective when shopping. Ocean water pollution means that heavy metals and toxic chemicals can sometimes be found in fish. Large factory ships sometimes fail to quickly process freshly caught fish, which risks the oils oxidizing before they are put in capsules. 

For the best omega-3 benefits, look for a product that is pure and clean, and comes from a sustainable source, such as algae or calamari oil. Like algae oil, calamari oil benefits the heart by being naturally high in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). As a cardiologist, I strongly recommend looking for supplements with high DHA omega-3 benefits, since DHA supports the heart more than its counterpart, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Choose a supplement that delivers at least 150 mg of EPA and 350 mg of DHA.

Now it’s your turn: How do you get omega-3s in your heart-healthy diet?

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DISCLAIMER: The content of is offered on an informational basis only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health provider before making any adjustment to a medication or treatment you are currently using, and/or starting any new medication or treatment. All recommendations are "generally informational" and not specifically applicable to any individual's medical problems, concerns and/or needs.

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