Among others, Tropicana has announced that they will unveil their omega-3-rich orange juice this month, Kelloggs has put the ingredient in their healthy cereal offering known as Kashi, and it's even appearing on the ingredients label of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter. Some pets are already enjoying the benefits, as Proctor and Gamble and Iams have been adding omega-3s to some of their pet foods since the early '90s.
California-based Omega Farms' milk and cheese already contain omega-3s, and the company plans to add it to its orange juice and yogurt this month. Omega Farms CEO Stephen Gaddis assures consumers that, because of a special processing method the company uses, the foods will not taste or smell of fish oil.
Omega-3 fatty acids naturally occur in fatty fish and nuts and oils, and studies have shown it to cut the risk of heart disease, assist in brain development, and even reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease. According to a HealthFocus USA Trend Survey, four in every 10 U.S. adults want more omega-3s in their food, and food marketers are attempting to provide it to the nation's 79 million baby boomers; those at greater risk of heart problems and cognitive decline.
The positive effects of omega-3 fatty acids are not really disputed, and both the American Heart Association and the FDA are in support of omega-3s, but some nutritionists note that foods with naturally occurring omega-3s are still healthier than foods with the fatty acid added.
Registered dietitian Robyn Flipse said, "It isn't good nutrition to cram a lot of ingredients into a single food."