Alert

Essential Fatty Acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids)

Essential fatty acid (EFA), also known as polyunsaturated fat, is not made by the body, so it is essential to get EFA from food. EFA supports and regulates important body functions in the cardiovascular, reproductive, immune, and nervous systems.

The two types of EFA are:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in foods from plants like soybean oil, canola oil, walnuts, and flaxseed.
  • Omega-6 fatty acids, which are found mostly in liquid vegetable oils like soybean oil, corn oil, and safflower oil.

Another type of omega-3 fatty acid is found in fatty fish and shellfish as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Salmon, anchovies, herring, sardines, Pacific oysters, trout, Atlantic mackerel, and Pacific mackerel are high in EPA and DHA and lower in mercury.

Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Healthwise Symptom Checker Logo

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.

Decision Points

Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.

You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:

Interactive Tools

Get started learning more about your health!

Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.

Top