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Foods High in Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA)

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN
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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

ALA per TblspALA per 100g
4mg Omega 3 per 1mg Omega 6
Source: Nutrition Facts for Flaxseed Oil
Chia Seeds

#2: Chia Seeds

ALA per oz(~2 Tblsp)ALA per 100g
3mg Omega 3 per 1mg Omega 6
Source: Nutrition Facts for Chia Seeds
Hemp Seeds

#3: Hemp Seeds

ALA per OzALA per 100g
1mg Omega 3 per 3mg Omega 6
Source: Nutrition Facts for Hemp Seeds
A bottle of vegetable oil

#4: Canola Oil

ALA per TblspALA per 100g
1mg Omega 3 per 2mg Omega 6
Source: Nutrition Facts for Canola Oil
Soybeans

#5: Soybean Oil

ALA per TblspALA per 100g
1mg Omega 3 per 8mg Omega 6
Source: Nutrition Facts for Soybean Oil
Green Soybeans (Edamame)

#6: Edamame (Green Soybeans)

ALA per CupALA per 100g
1mg Omega 3 per 5mg Omega 6
Source: Nutrition Facts for Edamame
Navy Beans

#7: Navy Beans

ALA per CupALA per 100g
1mg Omega 3 per 1mg Omega 6
Source: Nutrition Facts for Navy Beans
Half an avocado

#8: Avocados

ALA per AvocadoALA per 100g
1mg Omega 3 per 15mg Omega 6
Source: Nutrition Facts for Avocados
Whole Wheat Bread

#9: Whole Wheat Bread

ALA per 2 SlicesALA per 100g
1mg Omega 3 per 11mg Omega 6
Source: Nutrition Facts for Whole Wheat Bread
A bowl of oatmeal with blueberries

#10: Oatmeal

ALA per CupALA per 100g
1mg Omega 3 per 30mg Omega 6
Source: Nutrition Facts for Cooked Oatmeal

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

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Data Sources and References

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