Foods High in Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA)

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.


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List of Foods High in ALAs

Oil from a bottle 1 Flaxseed Oil
  • 7258mg ALA per tblsp
  • Calories: 120 | Weight: 14g (0.5oz)
  • 4mg Omega 3 per 1mg Omega 6
Chia Seeds 2 Chia Seeds
  • 5064mg ALA per oz (~2 tblsp)
  • Calories: 138 | Weight: 28g (1oz)
  • 3mg Omega 3 per 1mg Omega 6
Hemp Seeds 3 Hemp Seeds
  • 2466mg ALA per oz
  • Calories: 157 | Weight: 28g (1oz)
  • 1mg Omega 3 per 3mg Omega 6
A bottle of vegetable oil 4 Canola Oil
  • 1279mg ALA per tblsp
  • Calories: 124 | Weight: 14g (0.5oz)
  • 1mg Omega 3 per 2mg Omega 6
Soybeans 5 Soybean Oil
  • 923mg ALA per tblsp
  • Calories: 120 | Weight: 14g (0.5oz)
  • 1mg Omega 3 per 7mg Omega 6
Green Soybeans (Edamame) 6 Edamame (Green Soybeans)
  • 555mg ALA per cup
  • Calories: 188 | Weight: 155g (5.5oz)
  • 1mg Omega 3 per 5mg Omega 6
Navy Beans 7 Navy Beans
  • 322mg ALA per cup
  • Calories: 255 | Weight: 182g (6.4oz)
  • This food has no Omega 6 fats.
Half an avocado 8 Avocados
  • 223mg ALA per avocado
  • Calories: 322 | Weight: 201g (7.1oz)
  • 7mg Omega 3 per 1mg Omega 6
Whole Wheat Bread 9 Whole Wheat Bread
  • 88mg ALA per 2 slices
  • Calories: 161 | Weight: 64g (2.3oz)
  • 1mg Omega 3 per 10mg Omega 6
A bowl of oatmeal with blueberries 10 Oatmeal
  • 42mg ALA per cup
  • Calories: 166 | Weight: 234g (8.3oz)
  • 1mg Omega 3 per 30mg Omega 6

See All 169 Foods High in Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA)

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View more food groups with the nutrient ranking tool, or see ratios with the nutrient ratio tool.

Data Sources and References

  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.

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