Does brown rice really have omega 3?

Why would brown rice have omega 3? I thought you had to have fish oil to get a significant amount. Is it the same kind and is it just as healthy for your body? For some reason I'm suspicious. For me 1 serving of brown rice gives me 1/2 my daily amount of omega 3. So that is the same that stays fluid in fish?


  • Which brown rice item are you using in your log? The NCCDB ones have negligible amount of omega 3 only. Can't possibly be half of what you need.

  • I don't know what I was looking at now either. Sorry. However I do get beyond 50% with assorted vegetables, rice and fruit. Is that the same omega 3 that is in fish?

  • I mean that I was wrong about the levels in brown rice. I don't know what I was looking at. Sorry about that.

  • Hi @butterfly

    The type of omega 3 found in all plants (except algae) is ALA. While this an important fat to have in the diet, it doesn't get converted into the longer chain fats that we really need - EPA and DHA.

    EPA and DHA are typically found in fish, however, the fish actually get EPA and DHA from algae. If you don't eat fish, you can add supplemental algae to get a good source of these fats.

    I also wrote a blog on the topic in case you'd like to learn more:

    Let me know if you have any questions!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • @Susan_RD_101 Yes, I will read that! Thank you!

  • edited November 2018

    It is NOT TRUE to say that ALA doesnt get converted into EPA and DHA. That statement is at best an over simplification.... I would think that most people on here don't need over simplification.

    Most sources seem to agree that at least some is converted; the debate has tended to be how much and if human genetic differences mean some people convert different amounts.

    That is not to say we shouldnt be supplementing with EPA/DHA, most vegan/vegetarian experts seem to think we should (there are a few that dont though- some think vegans/vegetarians will escalate their conversion rate in response to diet.... but personally I dont think enough research has been done yet to reach the conclusion that some vegans/veggies can adapt).

  • Thanks @Heligan That's interesting and when I have time I'll read more details. It seems it's good to take a supplement no matter what. Hopefully my brain hasn't shrunk too much. :/ I eat loads of vegetables and other plants so if I can convert ALA there's plenty of it going through. But at least where research seems to be now it's not enough to just count on that. Now to figure out which supplement I can handle as my body hates supplements. It's so sad we can't get everything we need just from food. :(

  • I agree supplementing feels wrong somehow (even if it isnt).... and EPA-DHA supplements are really expensive too.

    I have to supplement vit D too (as UV sets off my eczema) and often iron as my eczema prevents me cooking quite often too (hard to get enough iron without pulses), I get stomach issues and dont absorb the iron supplements well without also taking 5mg of folate with them (if I take folate they absorb super well though).... so often I feel like Im just surviving off supplements.
    I tend to get massive doses of vit B12 as its in commercial soy milk and the veganicity supplement.... (thats an all rounder for when I cant cook) Im not sure if Im overdoing that as what I get from soy milk seems enough for thje RDA. I take additional Magnesium too sometimes as diet gets so bad I get muscle cramping, migraines and reflux (Magnesium deficiency is really loud symptom wise unlike anaemia).

    Im very glad to have cronometer to help me know where to supplement though. I just wish commercially prepared foods have fuller nutritional breakdowns. When I cant prepare from scratch it makes it hard to know what Im really getting when they only bother listing half the info I need... and obviously its then I need to know what to supplement most LOL. I rarely eat quorn because of their inadequate nutritional info.

  • @butterfly

    I'm a fan of NutraVege DHA as it comes in a liquid that you can mix into smoothies or other beverages. When it's consumed with food, it tends to be easier on the stomach.

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • edited November 2018

    @Heligan No it's not wrong, as in bad. :) Get the best of what you need where you can find it. I want to grow my own things in a little garden then I can grow the things I never can find.

    Tahini, mushrooms and winter squash are pretty good for iron. I think, but not sure, that on Cronometer the commercial stuff is whatever data that company or maybe other people put in. I'm just the opposite and practically don't eat any commercial process food because it all makes me sick.

    If you can get your B12 tested you can see if you are overdoing it. I'm going to look up veganicity. But if it has soy or gluten or corn I can't take it. For commercial foods it's something you eat a lot of it's more work but you can put the info in yourself as a recipe or food.

    Cronometer keeps me on track with nutrients and getting enough of things like calories, fat and water. I notice when I stray from it I feel less well. If there are parts that aren't working for you you can try reaching out to them. There are some things about it I'd like to tweak but overall I can't beat it compared to anything else out there. and they are very supportive and help however they can in my experience.

  • edited November 2018

    @Susan_RD_101 Thank you. I looked that up and unfortunately I can't use it because of the soy. That's too bad as it looks nice otherwise. But it's still helped me to know there are just liquid versions - I'll just have to find one without the allergens I can't use. It's also good to read their information - they have a lot, so thank you for that suggestion. And also the idea to put it IN something else. I'm doing that with B12 supplements and it does seem to help my stomach accept it. :) Maybe if I find other things I'll put them here. Thanks again.

  • edited November 2018

    I feel like Im hijacking the thread- going on about supplements in general now- sorry.


    No wheat, but not sure about the soy.

    When I cant cook squash, mushrooms etc are all out- commercial suff is all I can do- Quorn have no plans to give fuller nutritional info unfortunately- I emailed them. I certainly feel quite ill since I stopped cooking for myself and started eating mostly commercial stuff... its definitely not ideal especially for vegetarians and vegans as the commercial stuff is still of quite a low standard (nowhere near enough focus on pulses and I used to eat the at least twice a day before). I think my iron intake was about 21mg a day prior to the skin giving out... now I really struggle to get it to that even with supplements.

    I used to grow beets; gardening is also stopped by condition of skin though. Beets grow really easy so its a good thing to start with; I like the leaves best. I used to put beets and beet greens in curries (not that fond of the taste of beets, though baking improves them) with lentils- gives a very dramatic coloured curry.

    My B12 is tested in blood when Im diagnosised with anaemia, so every year or so, so far its not caused any concern from them... Im not sure if it would show up if my body is struggling to excrete excessive amounts though.... one of the excess B12 symptoms is itchy skin, which is the major reason for my slight concern over B12. Anything that can affect skin inflammation levels would be a worry due to my eczema.

  • @Heligan
    For iron what about tofu (or does that always need to be cooked? What about ready meals? Can you microwave them?) Beans have a lot of iron but maybe you could get or make just cold bean salads? Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, squash seeds. Chickpeas - so hummus would have iron. Hummus on rice cakes? Or just eat it from the container. Dried apricots. Baked potato - could you just buy one already cooked from a fast food?

    Vit C helps you absorb iron so eating iron rich foods with citrus fruits, orange juice, strawberries, etc may help to absorb it more from what you are eating.

    Be careful with iron supplements. It's easy to overdo it and I've ended up in the ER as a teen when taking them for anemia. Some of the supplements are super high doses and too much for most of us to handle.

    Please hijack away. And I don't consider it hijacking anyway as nutrition naturally leads to many other directions- all of them helpful and interesting.

  • edited November 2018

    @Heligan So you are saying you were diagnosed with anemia? Or they just tested you for anemia but you didn't have it? If you had it why weren't they concerned? I know I've read of people who ingested too much B12 and their doctor advising them to reduce how much they were taking to a (safer?) or more moderate level. What does nutrition facts .org recommend? I'm just about the worst person to even say much about B12 because I struggle to get enough my health really sucks still and I struggle to even think clearly. But there also different types of B12 and some people seem very keen on the more "natural" type which is Methylcobalamin. This is what I take. and also

    I alternate them and at times I felt too sick to even take these and had to rely on food. Which is hard when you can hardly eat. Now I put a solgar tablet in a large bottle of water, let it dissolve and drink it over 2 days. This was suggested to me by a person on here. Sometimes I use the spray.

    Here is some info (I don't know how good the info is but it gives the basics) about B12. Maybe you know all this already though. You might want to see which kind is in the processed foods you eat.

  • @Heligan I'm really sorry but is the reason you can't cook because you are not strong enough? I know very little about eczema. Does cooking trigger it? What about ready made vegan meals? Could those be put in a microwave or toaster oven? If heat is an issue in triggering eczema a microwave wouldn't get hot. I don't know where you live but in the USA we have Amy's and other vegan frozen meals or some stores have fresh ready meals that you can heat up or just eat cold, like bean salads, tofu burgers and things like that. Can you not have someone else - as in a restaurant or grocery store - do the cooking for you?

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