Posted on 08-05-2014
FDA BAN ON OMEGA 3 CLAIMS ON LABELS
In response to recent recommendations by the Institute of Medicine, cooperaerobics.com recently reported: “Excellent source of,” “rich in,” or “high in” omega-3s! These are all statements that you may have seen on several different foods in the grocery store. Consuming an adequate amount of omega-3 is an integral part of a heart-healthy diet so finding eggs or bars or peanut butter that claimed to be high in that nutrient may have been the reason you purchased that food. But some of those sources may not have been all they seemed to be. Earlier this year the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized a rule prohibiting some of those claims to help you, the consumer, make more informed choices.
There are different types of omega-3s: ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). The new rule prohibits certain nutrient content claims for all three of those fatty acids. The challenge is not with the acids or with the clear evidence that they are beneficial to our bodies (keep eating your salmon!), it is that we don’t have authoritative agreement on what the exact amount should be to earn a “high in” or “excellent source of” label claim.
Even with conflicting recommendations by groups such as the Institute of Medicine, it is reasonable to consider a range from 500–1,000 milligrams (mg) per day. Ask your physician for recommendations as some people benefit from a much higher dose. For example, those with high triglycerides will benefit from 2,000 mg–4,000 mg/day of omega-3. Dietitians like to see our patients receive omegas through real food and then consider an omega-3 supplement if necessary. One of the best sources of omega-3s is seafood:
You can find some of the ALA acids in other whole foods especially certain seeds and nuts. Consider:
In addition, there are foods that are fortified with omega-3 fatty acids. These often contribute a much smaller total mg dosage, but certainly add variety and can subtly increase overall intake:
There’s a HUGE health benefits associated with the consumption of omega-3s so consult with your WellnessOne provider to find out what omega-3 dose (through whole foods and supplements) is right for you.
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