Was wondering what other good real food sources of Omega 3 oils were out there before turning to supplements? I know fresh fish (especially oily fish) are the best source (and then the supplements like fish oil / krill oil pills, and cod liver oil, with the plant based sources running a distant last (being ALA instead do EPA/DHA)). But I have never been a big seafood fan (the "fishiness" causes me the most problem), and managing even a couple meals a week of fish (much less the four meals of salmon that PHD recommends) seriously pushes my tolerances (and I certainly can't afford four meals a week of sashimi or butter poached lobster). I have no problems with the supplements, but I also understand the paleo preference for real foods getting preference, so any ideas for alternatives would be greatly appreciated.
To echo Dr. Harris, it might be best to focus on limiting to the best of your ability your intake of n-6, particularly linoleic acid, rather than pumping the system full of n-3s, even if they are the long-chain DHA/EPA form. If you'd like to get some n-3s via fish, may I suggest a particular brand of canned salmon that is remarkably lacking in the grossness department: Black Top Wild Caught Salmon. It's the only form of canned salmon I can actually eat without the overwhelming fishiness that is all too often characteristic of canned fish. Beyond that, what can you get truly fresh in your area? I don't have any issues with fish as long as it's fresh--the fishiness isn't a potent tongue toxin as long as the fish hasn't been dead for millenia. Mackerel, trout, and herring are all rather omega-3-y, so if those are available at a local market, go for it.
In agreement re: the flax and chia for the reasons above by Korion. But also (omega-6 concentration aside) the human body typically doesn't do a good job of converting ALA to DHA and EPA. If you really want the anti-inflammatory of omega-3 you'll either need to eat the fish, or take (good quality) fish oil pills or algae sourced EPA/DHA (Nordic Naturals seems to have one, but it's liquid not pills.)
Disclaimer, I'm an ND.
Omega-3 needs increase with greater omega-6 consumption. If you have cut omega-6 rich seed oils from your diet, you should have a decent enough ratio of O3 to O6 from real food alone. ALA does indeed convert to DHA/EPA in our bodies, albeit in low efficiency. That efficiency however is dependent on the consumption of DHA/EPA in our diets. Which suggests that our DHA/EPA needs are rather modest.
Most recently there's been an anti-fish oil supplement vibe going through paleo. Some gurus have revised their recommendations to take massive amounts of fish oil to balance out omegas. Instead, reducing omega-6s comes first. Eating real foods rich on omega-3s comes second. Supplementing comes third.
Just take a modest amount of fish oil daily, particularly if you're not a fan of fatty seafood.
Flax and chia are mostly ALA, but they're better than nothing and you can toss them into yogurt, smoothies, or pretty much anything.
Walnuts are your go-to for nuts with omega 3.
Basil, oregano, and cloves all have good amounts of omega 3, so you can cook more often with those.
Pastured eggs and pastured dairy/meats will have higher omega 3 content, too. But you might just need to suck it up and do fish at least once a week.
You could take cod liver oil. I know you said you'd prefer not to take supplements, but CLO is a real food, or at least it is somewhere between a supplement and real food. It also contains vitamins A and D and other good stuff. Vitamin D is crucial but most of us don't get enough of it.
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