Being drawn to buy the carton that says fortified with Omega 3 and low cholesterol is pretty common. But do you actually know how much of Omega 3 you’re getting from your eggs? Can it really lower your cholesterol level? Let’s investigate this further.
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 . There are 3 types of omega-3 fatty acids: Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) .
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. 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 .
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 offers the widest variety of health benefits for our brain, eye, and heart health .
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 .
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 !