Omega 3 Misleading Labeling

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Home => Product Alerts => Food Industry's Greedy Practices to Cash in on the Health Benefits of Omega-3

Food Industry's Greedy Practices to Cash in on the Health Benefits of Omega-3

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The health benefits of Omega 3 EPA DHA fish oil is undoubtedly the single most important medical discovery of the last fifty years extending far and wide universally across all age groups.

From helping people with Eczema; to offering help for stimulating of blood circulation, reducing of blood triglycerides, reducing the risk of secondary and primary heart attack, help with arthritis, depression, anxiety; to even miraculous works such as helping the sole survivor from the West Virginia coal mine disaster Randall McCloy Jr awaken from coma.

Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA from fatty fish, have been identified as one of the super-nutrients taking the food and supplements industry by storm.

Nevertheless, the food manufacturers' greed to cash in on this opportunity by distorting the contents of their products labeled Omega 3 begs for everybody to pay special attention to the products and companies who do so.

What are they doing?

Even though food labels are much more reliable and informative than they were at the beginning of the 20th century, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has reported that many consumers will continue to be hoodwinked into buying products they think are healthful but, in fact, are of poor nutritional value.

One such thing is the addition of Omega-3 in foods.

In 2005, products began to appear on grocery shelves claiming to be "good sources of Omega-3s," from eggs, to butter, to bread, and even meats.

While that may sound like good news, sadly, millions of consumers may not realize just how misleading those claims are.

The latest and groundbreaking research done by Lois Smithers, and published under the name: "The Food Industry's Greed - How Misleading Labeling of Omega-3 Foods Undermines American Health," uncovered just what the title says, the food industry's greed to profit from the Omega 3 medical discovery by putting misleading claims on their products.

Her research discovered that the Omega 3 found in these foods is mostly ALA (derived from plants and seeds) and not the EPA and DHA (found in the oil of fatty fish) that was the most significant medical breakthrough in the last 50 years.

While for vegetarians who do not eat fish, ALA would be a good alternative, Lois' research found that ALA cannot be used as a replacement for EPA/DHA because it is poorly converted to EPA and DHA.

Hectic lifestyles leave little to no time to do in-depth research for everything we buy. Being aware of that, certain manufacturers boldly put omega-3 claims in big print on the front of their product labels, knowing that it is a buzzword and it will attract people to buy their products.

To verify this, we went to a local grocery store, and after a short search we found the following 4 products with Omega 3 labels:

Kids Yogurt - Other than the rented Nick Jr Diego character to get kids' attention, Omega 3 DHA label stands strong in the blue circle for getting parents' attention with claim "Supports Healthy Brain Development." After rotating the package several times we finally found a note stating that the DHA is derived from algal (algae) oil and it has 16mg (10%) per container.

Omega 3 Eggs - It looks like that the only selling point for these eggs is the Omega 3 label. It claims that it has 660mg, and the hens were fed a natural vegetarian diet containing flax. It sounds like this manufacturer declares that Chickens were somehow able to transfer the Flex (plant) oil Omega 3 from the food they ate, through its digestive system and into the eggs.

Butter - claims: Excellent source of Omega 3. 350mg per serving. On the back side of the box it offers the claim: Excellent source of ALA & EPA/DHA Omega 3. However, the Ingredients reveal that per serving it has 320mg ALA Omega 3 and only 32mg EPA/DHA Omega 3 that does come from purified fish oils.

Peanut Butter - with a very honest statement: Omega 3's from Flex Oil. Contains 1000mg of Omega 3's ALA per serving. But how many people actually know the difference between ALA and EPA/DHA? It sounds like this manufacturer is betting on the buzzword Omega-3 for selling the product without people having time to research it.

As we found out from these 4 products, and confirming the research done by Lois Smithers, the source of Omega 3's was not derived from fatty fish, which is what we associate the health benefits with, but from plant oils in form of ALA, which is not what the medical discovery was about. Only the butter had 32mg EPA/DHA from fish oils, but that amount is so little that you wouldn't get any benefits anyways.

A solution for you, the consumer.

If you're looking for the health benefits from the fish oil EPA/DHA, it looks like that you won't find them in any of these misleadingly labeled foods. While the foods may not be bad to consume, you're better off taking fish oil to see the benefits of the EPA/DHA.

However, don't be fooled there either. The fish oil industry is on the profit wagon too. It's harvesting season for the manufacturers and they will try to harvest any profit they can from you, the unaware consumer. Even the medical establishment is selling fish oil by prescription known as Omacor (or recently renamed Lovaza). It's just fish oil and not medication.

Which of the thousands of brands of fish oil to buy?

Per the research of Lois Smithers, look for bottled oil that you cannot feel, taste, and smell - not capsules. Producing bottled oil requires flawless distillation to remove all ocean contaminants. Across the globe fish oil is purchased in 50 gallon drums from unknown source of purification, then sold to retailers and resellers who put it in capsules. Those drums may sit in hot warehouses waiting for purchase, and that oil may be spoiled and risky to consume. "Put every capsule to a prick test by poking a hole and give it a whiff test," says Lois Smithers "Good oil has no odor and will smell similar to olive oil."

She even put the prescription Omacor/Lovaza to the prick test and it failed, astonishing the physician who prescribed it.

To read Lois' research on Omega 3, Omega 6 inflammation related illnesses, and how our Omega 6 / Omega 3 balance got out of whack in our bodies, you can visit her website by clicking on this link.

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Omega 3 Misleading Labeling