Q: "I’m a vegetarian, and threfore don’t take fish oil supplements. Can I meet my omega-3 and omega-6 requirements using just flaxseed oil supplements? Am I missing out on any nutrients?"
Deni Trent, via email
A: Dietitian Michelle Broom says:
“Flaxseed oil supplements can provide the recommended daily dose of short-chain omega-3s, but these are different from the long-chain omega-3s in fish oil. Your body can convert short-chain omega-3s into long-chain, but it’s a rather inefficient process, which is why we’re encouraged to take fish oil (and eat oily fish). If your diet doesn’t allow for those options, eating other foods containing longchain omega-3 foods, like omega-3 eggs and Vaalia yoghurt, is a good idea. Alternatively, eat plenty of short-chain omega-3 rich foods, like walnuts, canola oil and chia seeds. Flaxseed oil doesn’t contain enough omega-6 to meet your requirements, but most people get more than enough, usually from vegetable- or seed-based oils like sunflower seeds.”