Crack an Omega- 3 Egg for Good Health
Today, new eggs with a fat formulation different from regular eggs are on supermarket shelves, and breakfast tables, everywhere. The eggs — from hens fed a special poultry feed containing flax — provide an excellent way to add omega-3 fatty acids to the diet.
Called “modified fat” or “omega-3 enriched,” these eggs are fast becoming very popular in North America. The eggs have captured 15% of the Canadian market, according to the latest figures from the Canadian Egg Marketing Agency. Sold under several labels in the retail market, they are especially attractive to anyone concerned with omega-3 intake.
The good news is that the enriched eggs contain eight to 10 times more omega-3 fatty acids, ( yet all of the vitamins and other nutrients) of regular eggs. In addition, when the hens digest flax, the alpha-linolenic fatty acid (ALA) is broken down into eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) fatty acids, and all three good fatty acids wind up in the egg yolks. Two eggs supply more than half Health Canada’s recommended daily intake of omega-3s for adult men and women.
One omega-3- enriched egg provides on average about 0.34 grams of ALA and 0.13 grams of EPA + DHA. By itself, an omega-3- enriched egg provides a significant portion of the Adequate Intakes of ALA for all age groups. For young children under the age of 3 years, for example, one omega-3- enriched egg provides half (49%) of the Adequate Intake. For boys and men, one omega-3- enriched egg provides roughly one-quarter (21-28%) of the recommended Adequate Intake. For girls and women, an omega-3- enriched egg provides about one-third (31-34%) of their Adequate Intake of ALA.
Current nutrition information about fats in the diet has changed the foods North Americans eat. A better understanding of the health benefits of polyunsaturated fatty acids overall, and omega-3 fatty acids in particular, has made people “food smart.” The best health advice available today calls for more omega-3s in the Western diet.