How much Omega 3 in Walnuts?
Walnuts are one of the best plant food sources of omega-3s. A single ounce serving of walnuts provides 2.5 grams of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). There are three main omega–3 fatty acids: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
In this article, we are going to break down how much omega-3 there are in walnuts along with other popular questions regarding this nut and its relationship to omega-3 fatty acids.
How much Omega-3 in one walnut?
There is approximately 0.36 grams of omega-3 fatty acids in one walnut.
How did we arrive at that figure? On average, seven walnuts weigh around one ounce. A one ounce serving of walnuts equates to 2.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, divide that number by seven (0.36 grams) and you get how much omega-3 there is to a walnut!
Is this enough omega-3 to get throughout the day? Not particularly. Experts recommend that you need between 1000 mg of combined omega-3 fatty acids throughout the day, that’s ALA, EPA and DHA altogether to make up 1000 mg.
With a single walnut, you’re getting 360 mg of ALA – and not much else. Ideally, you should be taking your walnuts with a serving of other rich omega-3 foods – or if possible a supplement to allow you to really hit those numbers and give your body more of that overall support from all forms of these fatty acids.
Do walnuts have more Omega-3 or 6?
Walnuts have an Omega-6 : Omega-3 ratio of 4.2 : 1. This means they have much more Omega-6 in them than they do Omega-3.
For example, if a single walnut contains 360 mg of omega-3s, there will be 1512 mg of omega-6s in that particular walnut.
A healthy ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is typically anywhere between 1-to-1 and 4-to-1. However, this covers how your overall intake should be accounting for your entire diet.
With this in mind, a walnut is just slightly outside the range of healthy, having a ratio of 0.2 more than what is considered the healthy limit.
Considering there are not many people out there who have a diet that is solely based on the consumption of walnuts – this isn’t too much of an issue, however it is something to think about if you are wondering if the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in walnuts is a healthy one.
Walnuts Omega-3 Content
In one ounce of walnuts you can expect 2.5 grams of the omega-fatty acid ALA. One ounce of walnuts also contains 4 grams of protein, as well as 2 grams of fiber along with providing you a good source of magnesium with a stable 45 mg.
It’s thought to be one of the only tree nuts that can actually deliver any form of omega-3s.
Omega-3 in Walnuts VS Salmon
Walnuts rank high when it comes to the few major food sources of “short-chain” omega-3s, while salmon is one of the only major food sources of “long-chain” omega-3s.
One ounce of walnuts contains 2500 mg of omega-3 fatty acids (which is ALA) whereas one ounce of Atlantic salmon contains 607 mg (DHA plus EPA).
Although pound for pound, there are more omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts than in salmon, walnuts only contain ALA. Salmon is the better option as it contains DHA and EPA – which are far more important to your body than ALA.
If you take it from a standpoint of quality over quantity – you should be all in salmon. However, if you just want omega-3s regardless of the quality and a lot of it – go for walnuts.
Walnuts and Omega-3s: How much is there?
As we’ve mentioned, in one ounce of walnuts, you’ll get 2.5 grams of omega-3s in the ALA form.
This breaks down to 0.36 grams for a single walnut, and runs at a ratio of 4.2 : 1 omega-6s to omega-3s which is just outside of the typical healthy range.
An ounce of walnuts also has 4 grams of protein, as well as 2 grams of fiber and 45 mg of magnesium.
Walnuts have more omega-3s than salmon pound-for-pound but it only delivers ALA omega-3s, whereas salmon delivers DHA and EPA which are the omega-3s which make the most impact to a healthy diet. Salmon has better quality omega-3s over what walnuts deliver.