Omega 3

Walnut Oil V/s Fish Oil: Who wins the Omega 3 Test?

3 min read

Man has always been a greedy animal. When it had limited options, it cried for more, when it had more, it cried for the best, when it had the best it cried confusion on what really was the best!   Someone has rightly said “excess of everything is bad”, and in a time like ours, it really is!

So at a time like this, where 10 companies are vying for your attention, on them being the best oil, as a consumer, completing a basic requirement of omega -3 fatty acids in your diet could be a dire task!

Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid, this is something that a body cannot produce on its own and hence needs it from outside sources, most of the times, walnuts and fish. It helps in controlling blood clotting and building up cell membranes. Its deficiency causes fatigue, poor memory, dry skin and poor blood circulation [hence omega 3’s so much related to heart health.]

Omega 3 has three components to it, let’s just call them A, B, C for ease [we shall learn their names at the end!].

So walnuts [plant based sources] basically contain the component A which helps in protecting your heart. It decreases the risk of heart attack in men by a large percentage and reduces the risk of re occurrence of the second one too [this has been effective in men by a higher percentage]. Component “A” is also found in a good quantity in flax seeds and soybean oil.  Walnut oil has a shelf life of around 8-12 months and must be stored in a cool and a dark place so as to reduce the possibility of it turning rancid and hence unusable.

While walnuts only contain the component “A”, components “B” & “C” are present in animal sources like the fish and help by improving the heart health.  It reduces the triglyceride levels and slightly lowers blood pressure levels. According to a few studies it is also known to reduce menstrual pain, arthritis and certain kidney problems. It is also known to play a positive role in Alzheimer’s study and an effective standalone therapy for cancer treatment too! The components present in fish can be used directly by the body and hence save the body’s conversion energy [the body needs to convert component “A” to component “B” and “C” to fully utilize the omega-3, but the process is very slow.]

Well, omega 3 if we see is such a small component in itself but at the same time is so important that it really has the ability to wreak havoc in our human system when deficit . Vegans and Vegetarians can be said to be the worst hit by this deficiency. Algae and seaweed have a good amount of component “B” which can be easily combined with component “A” sources like that of pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and walnuts to achieve the desired effect. Thanks to our amazing scientists we have pre- made gelatin free capsules/ supplements too that vegans and vegetarians can easily consume.

So what do you do when you have so many oils/ brands vying for your attention? Yes every oil that we have, has its own reasons to be amazing! And we couldn’t agree with them more!

Surprised??? Needless to say, we were too!

Every oil has a component that other oils don’t contain. So invariably, you really do need is a mixture of all oils in your diet. The quality of omega 3 fatty acids in walnuts and fish oils varies due to one being a plant based source and the other an animal one.  So, one cannot be substituted with / for another. While the former acts on lowering the amount of LDL in the body, the other acts on the triglyceride! And you do need both. According to AHA [American Heart Association] one must eat ¾ th cup of cooked fish at least two times a week,if that’s not possible fish oil can be incorporated as per the physician and 2 -3 pcs. of walnuts daily to maintain good omega 3 ratio.

So next time someone pitches walnut oil quality to a fish oil, don’t pick one, do yourself a favour, pick both!


Suggested Read,

A Dietitian’s Verdict: “Which is the best Oil For Cooking?”


Let’s see what the components were:

Component A- alpha-linolenic acid [ALA];

Component B- docosahexanoic acid [DHA] ;

Component C- eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA]

Ashmeeta Bhatia, Dietitian

Having a master's degree in the field of Clinical Nutrition, along with a background of intensive research on the subject, she guides people with different dietary requirements. From sports to people with varied lifestyles, she has catered to all during her stint with Fortis Memorial Research Institute. Working with corporates has been on top of her agenda to bring about a positive change in their lifestyles. So, while the corporates take care of the business needs, she takes care of the nutritional needs and keeps them going in the humdrum. She can be reached at for a consult.

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