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Fish oil facts

Fish is a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Oily fish contain fats called omega 3 fatty acids, which help to keep our hearts healthy. In general, adults should eat two portions of fish per week, one of which should be oily fish.

Oily fish includes:

  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Trout
  • Pilchards
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Eel
  • Sprats
  • Kippers
Non-oily fish includes:

  • Cod
  • Tuna
  • Plaice
  • Coley
  • Skate
  • Hake
  • Haddock
  • Pollock

Fresh, canned and frozen fish can be used, but be aware that some canned and smoked fish products are high in salt. Choose fish from sustainable sources where possible. You can do this by looking for Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified products, or consulting The Good Fish Guide from the Marine Conservation Society.

Can I eat too much oily fish?

Most people should be eating more oily fish as it is good for heart health, but there are recommendations for the maximum number of portions each week. Follow the advice in the table below:

Maximum number of portions* of oily fish per week
Pregnant, Breastfeeding women, women or girls who may become pregnant in the future 2
Women not in the above category 4
Boys and men 4

* a portion is about 140g

More information

NI Direct’s page on fish and shellfish
British Dietetic Association’s Omega-3 fact sheet
MSC’s Good Fish Guide