The Importance of Omega

Omega-3 ALA, also known as alpha-linolenic acid, is a type of polyunsaturated fat that is considered essential for your health. Because your body can’t make omega-3 ALA, it is considered an essential nutrient which must be supplied by foods in your diet.

What are food sources of omega-3 ALA?

Omega-3 ALA is primarily found in vegetable oils such as canola, soybean and flax as well as soft spreads made from these nutritious oils, and in walnuts and flax seeds. Omega-3 ALA is also found in smaller amounts in cereals, breads, grains, nuts and seeds. Salad dressings made from canola and soybean oils, such as Wish-Bone® Italian Dressing, provide a good source of omega-3 ALA.

Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 21 (2008)

How can I make smart food choices to get the omega-3 ALA I need?

Some leading health authorities recommend substituting vegetable oils and food sources high in omega-3 ALA for oils and foods high in saturated fat (without increasing calorie intake). The Nutrition Facts Label makes it easier to compare different foods so you can choose foods that have more of the nutrients you want and less of those you don’t. Look for foods that contain 20% or more of the DV per serving (excellent sources of omega-3 ALA) and those that contain between 10% and 20% of the DV (good sources of omega-3 ALA).

In addition to getting an adequate intake of “good” fats, it’s important to limit your intake of saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. When comparing different foods, read the Nutrition Facts Label and combine the grams (g) of saturated fat and trans fat and look for the lowest combined amount to make the best choice for your diet.

Which Wish-Bone® dressings are a good source of Omega 3 ALA?


Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005; available at:

Subcommittees on Upper Reference Levels, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Dietary Reference Intakes: Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. Washington, D. C. National Academies Press; 2002/2005.

Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Dietary Fatty Acids. J Am Diet Assoc. 2007;107:1599-1611.

International Food Information Council Foundation