Top 5 Omega-3 Sources to Lower Cholesterol

by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN Health Professional

Omega-6 fatty acids, which come from foods such as corn oil, beef and chicken) need not be eliminated from your diet; rather, you should aim to achieve a ratio of 4:1 or 1:1 omega-6 to omega-3. In order to attain this ratio, you might need to increase your omega-3 intake.

Eat fish at least twice a week

Recent research shows there are health benefits linked to an omega-3 known as DHA. Fish is a great source of DHA and has the highest content of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, sardines, trout, herring and tuna. Be mindful of the mercury content of some saltwater fish, including tuna, especially if you are pregnant.

Take a fish oil supplement

The standard dosage of fish oil supplements for healthy individuals is generally 500 mg per day, although dosage can vary depending on individuals' health conditions. This site has a complete list of health conditions and the daily fish oil dose for each, and it may be a helpful reference for you and your doctor.

Add flaxseed to your diet

You can buy flaxseed two different ways - whole seed or ground. Flaxseed is high in fiber, so by ingesting whole flaxseed you have increased your fiber intake, which is beneficial, but in order for the body to utilize omega-3 acids, flaxseed must be ground. Try adding flaxeed to sauces, oatmeal and yogurt.

Take a flaxseed oil supplement

Flaxeed oil supplements provide the omega-3 fatty acid known as ALA. ALA is not as effective as DHA and EPA at lowering cholesterol but still results in an improved ratio of omega-3 to omega-6.

Add omega-3 nut and seed sources to your daily intake

Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are walnuts, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts and sesame seeds. Nuts are high in calories, so watch your intake. If you gain weight, you're not doing your heart any favors!

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN
Meet Our Writer
Lisa Nelson, RD, LN

Lisa Nelson RD, a registered dietitian since 1999, provides step-by-step guidance to lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure, so you can live life and enjoy your family for years to come. Lisa's passion for health comes from her own family history of heart disease, so she doesn't dispense trendy treatments; Lisa practices what she teaches in her own daily life. Because her own health is the foundation of her expertise, you can trust that Lisa will make it truly possible for you to see dramatic changes in your health, without unrealistic fads or impossibly difficult techniques.