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Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Nutrition Glossary

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Updated February 16, 2014

tuna and salmon sushi

Tuna and salmon sushi are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids.

Tarick Foteh/Getty Image

Definition: polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fish, flax, canola oil, pumpkin seeds, soy and walnuts. Eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids raises HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) levels and may help to prevent cardiovascular disease.

There are three main dietary omega-3 fatty acids -- eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (both found in animal products like fish and seafood) and alpha linolenic acid found in plants.

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