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Should you be eating fish or fish oil tablets?

October 2 2019

When we talk about getting healthy from eating fish and fish oil, the main nutrients we’re talking about are omega 3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are a good type of fat – they can reduce inflammation and may help lower the risk of some chronic diseases such as heart disease, arthritis and cancer. But is it better to get these healthy fats by eating fish or taking fish tablets?

Scroll through the slideshow below to see the benefits of eating fish versus fish oil.

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This information is brought to you by our Nutrition and Dietetics team. Find out more about their services here.


Are fish oil tablets better for you than whole fish?

  • The healthy omega 3 content of whole fish varies, depending on the fat content of the fish, its diet and the environment of the fish.
  • The amount of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids in a typical 1,000mg fish oil supplement can also vary widely.
  • The nutrients in many fish oil supplements are not easily absorbed by your body unless they are taken in addition to other fats you are consuming in your diet.
  • For those currently eating at least two fish serves per week, there appears no added benefit of supplementation.
  • For those not incorporating fish into their dietary pattern, a fish oil supplement may be of benefit.
  • It’s generally safe for all population groups, including pregnant women, to consume two to three serves of any type of tuna or salmon a week, canned or fresh to maintain Omega-3 fatty acid levels for health benefits.

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