What do you know about omega-3 fatty acids? Unless you’re a nutritionist, the answer is probably something along the lines of: not much. Your baseline knowledge, if such a line even exists for you, is probably that omega-3 fatty acids come from fish…somehow. While the notion of omega-3 in fish isn’t out of the blue (pardon the pun), those powerful little long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids aren’t just aquatic. With advances in food science and feed techniques, omega-3 chicken is making more and more appearances on the dinner plates of families across the country.
Considering the proliferative health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, these effects were only proven relatively recently. In the late 60s and early 70s, Dr. Hans Olaf Bang, a Danish physician, spent time with the Eskimo population in Greenland. Bang noticed that even though the Eskimos consumed as high or higher fat content than his Danish countryfolk, they experienced markedly lower fatality rates from heart disease. After analyzing the nutritional content of their food, Bang identified the naturally occurring omega-3s in the Eskimos fish-heavy diet as the key to their heart health. But, while omega-3s abound in fish, omega-3 chicken is more complex.
Fortifying Omega-3 Chicken
At face value, fish contains more fatty acids than chicken. However, by controlling feed, omega-3 chicken can provide a viable alternative source of nutrients. In fact, omega-3 chicken contains a strain of omega-3 not found in fish at all: a-linolenic acid, or ALA. The not-so-secret ingredient is flaxseed. Flaxseed, a staple on health food store shelves, is packed full of omega-3s: it contains 28g of the fatty acid per 100g. By feeding chicken a mix that includes flaxseed, their meat and eggs retain those nutrients.
If you’re looking to keep omega-3 fatty acid in your diet, but you’re concerned about the risks of eating fish—like its high levels of mercury and other toxins—omega-3 chicken is a solid alternative. D&D Poultry offers high-quality omega-3 chicken from local producers, so you can be confident in the chicken that you serve to your family.