Many foods are becoming available in the marketplace that are fortified with omega-3 fatty acids. Generally, the packaging will make you aware that omega-3s have been added. When looking at or buying these products, keep the following in mind:
What kind of omega-3 fatty acids have been added to the food is important. The three main omega-3s are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosapentaenoic acid (DHA). They are derived from different plant or animal sources. Generally, they help our bodies develop and stay healthy, but different omega-3s help us in different ways. Since the omega-3 source and content varies by food type and by brand, make sure to read labels carefully or contact the manufacturer to find out about the omega-3 content of a particular food.
How much ALA, EPA and/or DHA is in the food is also significant. Look at the label to determine how much of the product is considered one serving, and exactly how many milligrams of omega-3s you are getting per serving, if available. Fortified foods frequently contain surprisingly small quantities of omega-3 fatty acids.
Consider whether the product costs more than a similar one without added omega-3s. Then decide if an additional cost is worth the kind and amount of omega-3 fortification the food contains.