It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to [email protected] and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

Please note that the Ask Dr. Gourmet feature is restricted to questions regarding food and nutrition. Due to the many questions we receive, not all questions may be answered. For more specific questions about your individual health, please contact your doctor. About Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy



Ask Dr. Gourmet

Is taking fish oil capsules as good for you as eating fish?

I know fish has many health benefits. But here's the problem: I hate fish. Absolutely hate it. No matter what kind and how you dress it up and what you try to do to it. Would taking fish oil in a capsule do the trick?

Dr. Gourmet Says....

A piece of roasted halibut topped with cherry tomatoes, sliced garlic, and capers

The best research we have says yes. For those who simply don't like fish, like you, taking fish oil capsules is a great choice. The recommendation is 1000 mg two or three times a day. This will give you more than adequate amounts of Omega 3 fats. If you are allergic to fish, there's some good evidence that using flax seed oil is a good alternative to fish oil.

It's really important that if you are going to have animal protein for meals on the days that you might have otherwise eaten fish that the beef, chicken, pork, etc. is as lean as possible. Alternatively, replacing about 3 meals a week with non-meat vegetarian recipes is also a good strategy. Following the other principles of the Mediterranean diet such as more fruits, nuts, veggies, whole grains and legumes will keep you on track.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS
Dr. Gourmet