Omega-3 and omega-6

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Essential fats

We require essential fats such as omega-3 and omega-6 to stay healthy. To learn more about the science behind this, check out our article 'Essential fatty acids'. If you just want to know what to do to stay healthy, read on.

Where do vegans obtain omega-3?

Good sources of omega-3 fats are the oils of some nuts and seeds such as flax, mustard, hemp, rapeseed and walnuts. Making rapeseed (canola) oil your primary kitchen oil is an affordable, straight-forward approach to obtaining good fats. Why not try hemp milk and spirulina powder (also high in omega-3) in smoothies, walnuts on your breakfast cereal, or ground flax seeds in baking?

Other sources of omega-3 include green leafy vegetables, soya and grains; however, vegans should not rely on these sources as they tend to be high in omega-6, which can inhibit omega-3 uptake.

What about omega-6?

Vegan diets, which tend to be high in vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and seeds already gain enough omega-6 to be healthy. The trick is to make sure you're not consuming too much omega-6 compared to omega-3.

It's all about balance

We need plenty of omega-3 compared to omega-6 essential fats. So eat less processed food and moderate pumpkin, sunflower, sesame seeds and oils (all rich in omega-6). Many omega-3 supplements are also available and registered with our Vegan Trademark such as Opti-3.

Need more information? Read our detailed pdf here.