Foods High in Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA)

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN
Powered by USDA Nutrition Data
Foods High in Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA)

Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) is an essential Omega 3 fatty acid necessary for a wide range of functions in the body's cardiovascular (heart) system, immune system, and endocrine (hormone) system. Deficiency of ALA is rare in adults but can lead to rough and scaly skin.

ALAs and Omega 3 fatty acids are thought to be beneficial in protecting against heart disease.

In today's modern diet, most people eat a much higher proportion of Omega 6s than Omega 3s, leading some to look for foods with a good Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio. For this reason, the amount of omega 3s per omega 6 fat is listed for each food.

Foods high in ALAs include flaxseed oil, chia seeds, hemp seeds, canola oil, soybean oil, edamame, navy beans, avocados, whole wheat bread, and oatmeal.

Since data on all fats is difficult to obtain, there are likely more foods high in ALAs but we are just missing the data. As such, it can also be assumed that most plant sources of omega 3 fats are also high in ALAs.

For more foods high in ALAs see the complete ranking of over 200 foods high in ALA fats. Note: The list of 200+ foods contains many fried foods which are likely fried using soybean or canola oil, and this is why they have a high quantity of ALAs. That said, deep-fried foods are high in calories and not part of a healthy diet. This is why the top 10 list below excludes all fried foods.


List of Foods High in ALAs

Oil from a bottle

#1: Flaxseed Oil

4mg Omega 3 per 1mg Omega 6
ALA
per Tblsp
ALA
per 100g
ALA
per 200 Calories
7258mg53368mg12074mg
Chia Seeds

#2: Chia Seeds

3mg Omega 3 per 1mg Omega 6
ALA
per oz(~2 Tblsp)
ALA
per 100g
ALA
per 200 Calories
5064mg17830mg7337mg
Hemp Seeds

#3: Hemp Seeds

1mg Omega 3 per 3mg Omega 6
ALA
per Oz
ALA
per 100g
ALA
per 200 Calories
2466mg8684mg3141mg
A bottle of vegetable oil

#4: Canola Oil

1mg Omega 3 per 2mg Omega 6
ALA
per Tblsp
ALA
per 100g
ALA
per 200 Calories
1279mg9137mg2067mg
Soybeans

#5: Soybean Oil

1mg Omega 3 per 8mg Omega 6
ALA
per Tblsp
ALA
per 100g
ALA
per 200 Calories
923mg6789mg1536mg
Green Soybeans (Edamame)

#6: Edamame (Green Soybeans)

1mg Omega 3 per 5mg Omega 6
ALA
per Cup
ALA
per 100g
ALA
per 200 Calories
555mg358mg592mg
Navy Beans

#7: Navy Beans

1mg Omega 3 per 1mg Omega 6
ALA
per Cup
ALA
per 100g
ALA
per 200 Calories
322mg177mg253mg
Half an avocado

#8: Avocados

1mg Omega 3 per 15mg Omega 6
ALA
per Avocado
ALA
per 100g
ALA
per 200 Calories
223mg111mg139mg
Whole Wheat Bread

#9: Whole Wheat Bread

1mg Omega 3 per 11mg Omega 6
ALA
per 2 Slices
ALA
per 100g
ALA
per 200 Calories
88mg137mg109mg
A bowl of oatmeal with blueberries

#10: Oatmeal

1mg Omega 3 per 30mg Omega 6
ALA
per Cup
ALA
per 100g
ALA
per 200 Calories
42mg18mg51mg

See All 200 Foods High in Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA)

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Data Sources and References

  1. U.S. Agricultural Research Service Food Data Central

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