Diet,  Wellness

The Big Egg Question: Are Omega 3 Enhanced Eggs Legit Or Just A Marketing Gimmick?

So many eggs to choose from but most of the time, we go for the fortified Omega 3 and the other vitamins infused eggs. 

But do the eggs really provide what’s shown on its labels? – That is the question. With multiple choices of eggs to select from each time we go to the supermarket to grocery shop or even, when we shop online, it can be a tad confusing if you’re not too sure what you’re buying.

Is there a difference and are these eggs any better for you than the others? Naturally, a lot of us would be drawn to choose the eggs which label tells us that it had fortified with Omega 3 or that they have low cholesterol. However, how much Omega 3’s is one getting from the eggs? Can these eggs work miracles by helping to lower your cholesterol? Healthworks.my looks into this further to find the answers.

What is Omega-3?

Omega 3 are important fatty acids which our body can’t produce by itself. It’s also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), the good fats. The only way we can get Omega-3 fatty acids is through eating [1]. There are 3 types of omega-3 fatty acids: Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) [2].

Fishes such as salmon, tuna and halibut are great sources of DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids. So does some dairy and nut items such as eggs, milk, walnuts, flaxseeds and more. But some go for supplements to get their weekly omega-3 fix.

How are Omega-3 eggs made?

The omega 3 eggs’ companies feed their hens with a diet that is rich in flaxseeds and sometimes, even fish oil[3]. By feeding the hens with omega-3 fatty acid sources, the hens will lay an egg that has a higher omega-3 content. Most of the omega-3 will be found in the egg yolk too. Moreover, flaxseed is a great source of ALA because it’s benefits our cardiovascular health [4].

However, not all omega-3 eggs are made the same way.

First, you have to figure out what are the omega-3 fatty acids that you want to gain more from. Usually, most people aim for eggs which are high in DHA and EPA instead of  ALA. Why? That’s because DHA and EPA offer the widest variety of health benefits for our brain, eye, and heart health [5].

But most omega 3 eggs contain more Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) than DHA and  EPA. Due to the flaxseed-rich diet the hens are fed with. Why people prefer to get eggs with more DHA and EPA is because our body may not process ALA to DHA and EPA effectively [6].

Since it costs more than normal eggs, is it better?

It depends. What affects the quality is how the hens are raised. If the hens are cooped up and was not allowed to walk outside then, the amount of omega-3 fatty acids are lower. Compared to the ones that are free to walk around whenever they want. Like shown in the chart below:

But we can’t exactly find out the living conditions of the hens whenever we want so another way to find out is through the labels. Honest egg companies would state how much DHA, EPA and ALA that you’re getting from their eggs.

All in all, it goes to show that what the chickens are fed with will affect the amount of nutrients that are found in the omega-3 eggs. If you are already eating a diet that includes fishes, nuts and greens such as kale, then you can just settle for normal eggs because normal eggs have omega-3 too [7]!

This article was brought to you by www.healthworks.my, Malaysia’s leading health community.

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