There’s nothing fishy about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, found in coldwater fish and some nuts and plants. Studies have shown they’ve helped prevent heart disease and some cancers, while boosting mood and memory. (But they thin your blood, so avoid them if you have a clotting disorder or take blood thinners.) For people with HIV, nutritionists Tamara Simpson and Lisa Zullig, of New York City’s God’s Love We Deliver, recommend one to three grams of omega-3s daily. Can’t get enough from food? Here are six bottled versions, safety-approved by and picked by Simpson and Zullig. Our panel sampled them, fish breath, after-burps and all.    

The Vitamin Shoppe OMEG-3 Fish Oil
2 softgel capsules daily
(300 gels, $42.79; the Vitamin Shoppe or
One two-capsule dose will provide your daily measure of omega-3s. The capsules are tasteless going down, but swallow them with food to avoid gross, fishy-tasting burps later on.  

Carlson Super Omega-3 Fish Oil
1 softgel capsule daily
(100 gels, $25.50;
Potent enough to require only one capsule a day, unlike some other omega-3 softgels (helpful if you already take handfuls of pills for HIV). With these, too, you need a food chaser to prevent nasty belches.

Coromega Omega-3 Supplement,
1 packet daily
(90 packets, $34.95; GNC or
The puddinglike cream in each packet contains your entire omega-3 dose for a day. It tastes like a Creamsicle or the powdered orange drink Tang. No fishy flavor or burps, even without food.

Nature’s Way EFA Gold Organic Super Lignan Flax Oil
1 tablespoon daily
(16 oz., $16.99; GNC or
Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil pack lots of alpha-linolenic acid, delivering plenty of omega-3s. The nutty flavor makes this oil a tasty addition to salad dressing. Just one tablespoon gives you a daily dose—and it’s a burpless one.

Arrowhead Mills Brown Flax Seeds
1 tablespoon daily
(1 lb., $2.39;
Run whole flaxseeds through a coffee or spice grinder or they’ll pass through your body undigested. Unlike other omega-3 sources, flaxseeds provide fiber. Their flavor is light and nutty, though not exactly delicious.

Bob’s Red Mill Golden Flaxseed
1 tablespoon daily
(1.5 lbs., $3.99;
These have the same nutritional profile as brown seeds, but with a slightly different flavor. Many people like the golden taste; you can add ground seeds to fruit, hot or cold cereal, salads and smoothies. Omega!