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What It Means When Eggs Have Added Omega-3 Fatty Acids

chicken eggs in farm
chicken eggs in farm - Alvarez/Getty Images

On the dietary supplements on the market, Omega-3 fatty acids top the chart as one of the most popular. These intricate compounds play a crucial role in promoting good health, having an extensive list of benefits that range from enhancing brain function to reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Certain fishes with oily flesh, such as salmon, contain a lot of these compounds. But building a diet consisting of these fishes can be a challenge for some people, considering their cost (it's one of the many reasons why Omega-3 supplement pills are so popular.)

For such people, there's another source that you can use to organically introduce Omega-3 fatty acids into your body: eggs! Egg yolks naturally contain modest amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids. But they usually aren't present in high enough concentrations to be a serious alternative to fish oils.

So, producers have gotten smart with it: They can boost the level of Omega-3 fatty acids in the eggs by altering a hen's diet to include poultry feeds that are dense in these compounds, like flax or fish oil. As hens digest these Omega-3-packed feeds, their bodies accumulate higher levels of these compounds — and so do their eggs. These enhanced eggs are a great choice for those with dietary restrictions that prevent them from consuming fish regularly, such as carnitarians.

Read more: 20 Superfoods To Consider Adding To Your Diet

What Are The Caveats For Omega-3 Enriched Eggs?

chicken eggs with one broken
chicken eggs with one broken - Parkin Srihawong/Shutterstock

There are certain caveats, however. The first thing is the matter of cost. Since the production of these eggs involves feeding hens with specialized diets, a carton of these eggs will be pricier compared to the run-of-the-mill eggs you'll find at grocery stores. So, if you're considering making the switch, you ought to be prepared to shell out a bit more.

Another problem is that while they're a decent alternative to fish for those unable to consume them regularly for whatever reason, they don't provide as much Omega-3 as fish. A single enriched egg can contain as much as 350mg of Omega-3. In contrast, a 6-ounce portion of wild salmon provides over five times this quantity (1,774 mg). To put it simply, you would need to consume five eggs to match the Omega-3 content of a single 6-ounce salmon meal.

As such, unless you have dietary restrictions, you're still much better off consuming fish regularly to meet your daily Omega-3 requirements and count on these enhanced eggs as supplements. Alternatively, if fish is not your preference, try incorporating nuts into your diet. Walnuts, for example, are notably rich in fatty acids. And if it comes down to it, Omega-3 supplements are still a perfectly acceptable and safe way to keep your body healthy and your diet balanced!

Read the original article on Tasting Table.