Debunking 3 Common Myths About Omega-3

By Dr Jagmeet Madan, Eminent Nutritionist, Professor and Principal, Sir Vithaldas Thackersey College of Home Science, SNDTWU, Mumbai and National President Indian Dietetic Association

Omega-3 has been hailed as the must-have in the diet menu for multiple reasons. They are the big alpha when it comes to essential fatty acids. And because our bodies are incapable of producing these on it’s own, the omega 3s become all the more vital to our healthy existence. Heart health1, brain health2, healthy aging3, immune strength4 – you name it, and omega 3s are needed for a fitter life. But despite all the facts and research, there are some myths around it, here’s to busting them and stating the facts around these essential fatty acids.

  1. Myth – Fats Are Bad

Fact – Contrary to popular belief, not all fats are bad.There are good fats in the world, and they play an essential role in human health from head (brain!) to toe (joints!) and every cell in between.Fats also help us feel full and ensure healthy communication between nerve impulses and the transfer of nutrients through the bloodstream.Good fats come in the form of omega-3 fatty acids that are a specific type of polyunsaturated fat known for their health benefitting properties. High in nutritive value, omega-3 fatty acids help in lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases, improving overall mortality and brain health.

  1. Myth- Only Fish Is A Good Source Of Omega-3

Fact – There are plant-based sources too. While marine sources (EPA/DHA) are found in oily fish, plant-based sources (ALA) are found in flaxseeds and flax oil, canola oil and walnuts. Walnuts are the only tree nut that contains a significant amount of ALA, at 2.5g per 28g. Not just that, walnuts also have been researched for more than three decades for their role in heart health, brain health, cancer, gut health, reproductive health, and more. Just a handful of walnuts in the daily diet may support holistic wellbeing.

  1. Myth – Diet Is Not Sufficient To Meet Omega-3 Requirements

Fact – You can get omega-3 from a well-balanced diet. In order to stay healthy, one has to consume good fats, quality fats that  can improve your heart, immunity, tackle inflammation, provide protection against diseases like cancer, diabetes, etc.  Quality omega-3 diets are good fats, whole food diets that keep you lean and healthy. Eating essential fats will only fuel your system towards fitness.

So, embrace omega-3 fatty acids in your daily diet that may play a crucial role in various bodies’ processes to achieve optimum health.


1Fleming JA, Kris-Etherton PM. The evidence for α-linolenic acid and cardiovascular disease benefits: comparisons with eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. AdvNutr. 2014;5(6):863S-76S. doi: 10.3945/an.114.005850.

2 Barceló-Coblijn G, Murphy EJ. Alpha-linolenic acid and its conversion to longer chain n3 fatty acids: Benefits for human health and a role in maintaining tissue n-3 fatty acid levels. Prog Lipid Res. 2009;48(6):355-74. doi: 10.1016/j.plipres.2009.07.002.

3Sala-Vila A, Guasch-Ferré M, Hu FB, et al. Dietary α-linolenic acid, marine ω-3 fatty acids, and mortality in a population with high fish consumption: findings from the PREvención con DIetaMEDiterránea (PREDIMED) study. J Am Heart Assoc. 2016;5(1):e002543. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.