Omega 3 to 6 Fat Ratio of Seeds [Data]

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seeds variety

Seeds are one of the best vegan sources of fats.

After making a page about the ratio of omega 3 to 6 fats in nuts, it only made sense to do the same for seeds.

I collected basic nutritional data for all the common seeds I could think of, and the results are just below.

If there are any seeds that I forgot, just let me know and I’ll add them.

Omega 3:6 Ratio of Seeds Table

The most important column of this table is the one on the far right.

In general, you want this ratio to be as high as possible.

SeedFat in 100gOmega 3 (g)Omega 6 (g)Omega 3:6 ratio
Flax42.222.815.913.8596
Chia30.817.555.793.0311
Hemp508.33300.2777
Sesame49.70.3821.370.0178
Pumpkin19.40.0778.60.0090
Sunflower51.50.07423.050.0032

Both flax and chia are amazing sources of plant-based omega 3 fats.

Hemp is decent; most research seems to suggest you want at least a 1:4 ratio (0.25 in our table above), so hemp just beats this cutoff. Hemp also has a pretty good amino acid profile.

But when it comes to the other seeds, they’re clearly not good sources of omega 3 fats. You should limit your intake of sesame, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds.

Seeds have a much better ratio than nuts for omega 3s and 6s, but certain ones are clearly better than others.

Other Ways to Get Omega 3 Fats

If you eat a lot of those “bad” seeds, you can attempt to balance out your polyunsaturated fat intake by getting more omega 3s from other sources.

If you eat fish, that’s the best source.

If you don’t for whatever reason, an algae-based vegan omega 3 supplement is a good alternative that is the easiest way to get omega 3s from plants.

Limit, But Don’t Eliminate Seeds

While you don’t want to go overboard on certain seeds, they are packed with nutrients.

For example, sunflower seeds are the best plant-based source of vitamin E, while pumpkin seeds have a lot of zinc and magnesium.

Eat a variety of seeds if possible, just don’t overdo it.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.

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