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Warmer water sardines.

I have been eating sardines regularly due to their high EFA’s content and also because they one of the lowest methylmercury levels of all fish.

Now, a couple of weeks ago I read something in the label of the package for the first time that left me a little worried about the true amount of omega 3 I’m getting in them. Apparently, they are fished in Morocco (North Africa) so they are not exactly a cold water fish. They might be fished in the Atlantic but also might be in the Mediterranean sea.

After a lot of research on the net I couldn’t find any info about the difference in omega 3 content so I’m hopping I can get some info here.

Anyone knows anything about this?

Some of the less fatty fish in the Gulf of Mexico have omega-3 content equivalent to their saturated content. I would guess from this that water temperature would not matter. This is a guess though, to be sure you could always buy King Oscar brand salmon from Norway. I recommend the double layer in olive oil, as they are smaller fish and taste better.

Thanks for the reply. You might be right. I had this notion that it was mainly cold water fish that was high in omega 3 but I’m not sure if this is as linear as that. Thanks again.

Anyone else?

Sorry didn’t proofread that post, it should say King Oscar brand sardines.

Interesting point. I buy the BELA brand sardines and although they are distributed from Newton,Mass., Bela is in Portugal. So where do the sardines actually come from and does that determine the amount of epa/dha? Do any of the brands out there actually list the omega 3 count on the tin? The only one I’ve found to do this so far is Brunswick (1.4 grams).

Well, it’s not necessarily the water temperature that leads to the omega-3 content, but rather the food they eat. So, a warmer water sardine that eats the same stuff will basically have the same fat ratio, but maybe a little less overall fat due to warmer water temps and less insulation needed.

Honestly, I'm not sure what sardines eat, but you could do some research on that front to see if the diets would be any different.

I was reading a huge article on salmon farming (ok, I'm going off-topic a bit, but oh well), and was so frustrated at what I read. Aside from the negative environmental impact, the farmers were actively searching for a grain based feed, because fish meal (made up of good omega-3 fish like sardines, herring, mackeral, etc. was too expensive).

They've already ruined beef and now they are doing the same with salmon.

Ok, back on topic - hopefully due to these reasons, manufacturers will be very specific with labelling the source and location of the fish and potentially labeling the omega-3 and EPA/DHA content.

Actually, I live in Portugal. They are probably fished in the Atlantic, almost for sure. The ones from Moroccos are a LOT cheaper than Portuguese ones.

I haven’t seen any info on omega 3 content from any brenad and all I gathered is that there are two types of sardines, a bigger one from colder waters and these smaller ones that you and I are eating.

Found a good site that might help answer. www.homepage.montana.edu/~bchem280/ omega.html

Clintpatty, thanks for the link. Not really what I was looking for but nevertheless usefull information.

Jason, in my opinion farmed salmon is not worth bothering, the omega 3 content of them is quite similar to commercial fed beef.

I believe sardines are still the best choice along with walnuts and good quality fish oils.

Cold water fish have a higher omega 3 content because of what they eat. Cold water is higher in nutrients. That is why fish such as salmon and makerel have a higher omega 3 content than tuna or swordfish.

There are three types of fish which are packed as "Sardines". Two are cold water species Brisling and Silds. The other a warm water fish called Pilchards.

This may be a generalization, but what I found is that Denmark, Norway and Scotland pack Brisling and silds. California, France, Portugal and Spain pack Pilchards.

I have not checked any labels so I do not know if the information, as to the species of fish is on the the can. I'll keep poking around to see what I can find.

That is some intruiging information. What specific brands have you found that contain the cold water brisling and silds? The ones I’ve been eating are from Portugal so it sounds as if these would be lower in the Omega 3 total.