Omega 3 rich foods used to include beef. But not now
It is becoming common knowledge that there are plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids in fish. But are there other good food sources of the Omega 3 fats? Is there Omega 3 in beef, for example, or for that matter in many other everyday foods that you and I would probably see regularly on the dinner table?
Because it’s true to say that it’s not that easy getting your Omega3 from fish, not unless you’re taking fish oil capsules each day, which we recommend.
But if you can get Omega 3 from other foods then this has to be good. Today we wanted to look at Omega 3 in beef and Omega 3 in eggs.
Anyone looking to get their Omega 3 from food obviously needs to be eating foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids. The other thing that they need to consider is that the Omega 3 fats that they are getting are the right ones.
Many plants have Omega 3 fats in them. However the plant-based form of Omega 3 is actually different to that found in fish for example.
The Omega 3 fats found in fish are DHA and EPA, and these are the 2 most important of the essential fatty acids for your health. DHA in particular is vital for a number of areas of your health, and also makes up a large percentage of the fat in your brain and in the retina of your eye.
But plant-based Omega 3 is different, and is actually called ALA. This form of Omega 3 is much less effective in improving your health because it needs to be converted in your body into DHA and EPA, and this conversion is relatively ineffective.
Many people are unaware that the Omega 3 fatty acid found in many fortified foods is actually ALA. (Just check on the label to see).
But there are other food sources of DHA and EPA other than fish. Beef, for example, has DHA and EPA, as do eggs. Fish, and in particular oily fish, is the best source of DHA and EPA, but not the only one.
However before you rush to the supermarket to buy some beef for dinner you should understand a little more about Omega 3 in beef.
That’s because the amount of Omega 3 in beef varies dramatically according to how the cattle that provided the beef were fed.
Grass is a good source of Omega 3 fats, and this is where the Omega 3 in beef comes from. The cattle eat the grass.
And grass fed beef does have healthy essential fatty acids. However there is a problem. Most of the beef that we eat today does not come from animals that are grass fed. Most of the beef is from cattle that are finished on grain.
Farmers have realised that fattening animals on grain is more profitable than allowing them to graze on grass until they are sent to market. There is no Omega 3 in grain, and the longer the animal is grain fed the less Omega 3 it has.
Not only that but it has more Omega 6, and lots of Omega 6 isn’t good for you, though that is the subject of an article for another day.
So yes it’s true that beef does have Omega 3 fatty acids, provided you’re eating grass fed beef.
The same applies to chickens. Chickens which, when allowed to free range, happily eat grass, and so stock up on that Omega 3, as they do when they eat other things like insects. Chickens fed on corn and soy don’t, and equally importantly, their eggs don’t either. (You can get Omega fortified eggs, but check the label to see if it’s ALA)
So remember, there is Omega 3 in beef fed on grass. So if you’re interested in getting more of those good fatty acids in your diet search out grass fed beef, though it’s not that easy to find.
Or use our preferred method and take quality fish oil capsules each day, it’s easier and cheaper to do that than to try and find free range grass fed beef.
And there’s one other thing to consider. The way you cook your beef can reduce the Omega 3 content. The same applies to fish. If you fry it most of the Omega 3 is gone in the cooking process.
It all gets a little difficult trying to get your Omega3 from food. Omega 3 capsules are by far the most cost-effective and simplest way to get those good healthy essential fatty acids in your diet every single day.Written by - Omega 3 Fish Oil