I don't know about you, but when I see products fortified with nutritional supplements like antioxidants and Omega-3s, I am always more than a bit skeptical. Whole foods are my thing, and the term "enhanced foods" seems like a sci-fi term and an oxymoron. I did make the switch to buying OJ with added calcium, but I'm skipping the Omega-3 eggs, since many companies can't back up their claims.
I just came across another product, Breyer's Smart!, that's fortified DHA Omega-3s. The source for this DHA Omega-3s is called life'sDHA, and it doesn't come from fish. It's produced from algae, so it's great for vegetarians. When you look at the list of ingredients on the back of this yogurt, it says "DHA Algal oil." Yep, "algal" not algae.
Is this a good source of Omega-3s? To find out
Fish and shellfish, such as salmon, tuna, and trout contain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the two most potent and studied forms of Omega-3 fats. If you are a vegetarian, or avoid fish due to mercury concerns, you can find a substantial dose of another Omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) from non-fishy foods such as flaxseed, walnuts and canola oil.
However, when ALA is consumed, our bodies must convert it to EPA and DHA to reap the health benefits. Some foods enhanced with Omega-3s are typically fortified with ALA, but only a small amount of ALA ends up getting turned into EPA and DHA.
This Breyer's Smart! yogurt contains straight up DHA, which sounds great. DHA is necessary for the development and maintenance of nerve cells in the brain and eyes. It's also essential for good cardiovascular health. The only thing that's a little weird about this yogurt is that the website doesn't tell you just how much DHA a 6 oz. serving contains. Hmm.
Fit's Tips: Truthfully, I'm still not convinced about these Omega-3 enhanced products. If you are a fish eater, get your Omega-3s straight from the source. The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 2 servings of oily fish per week. If you don't eat fish, remember to get your fill of flaxseeds, walnuts and canola oil.