Deceptions in the Food Industry: Omega 3s

www.mypicshares.com

In this edition of Deceptions in the Food Industry, I’m tackling Omega 3s. If you shop at the grocery store, you know there are thousands of products proclaiming their Omega 3 value, from cereals, crackers, chips, breads, bagels, and pretzels to fish and krill oil, flax and other seed oils, to vitamins and powders.

The latest offender I’ve seen is a bag of Ritz Toasted Chips, at a friend’s house. I think most people know crackers and chips aren’t healthy, but come on…do people really believe this product has Omega 3s?

On the front and back of the package, it says that this product contains “320 mg ALA Omega 3s essential fatty acids per serving from soybean oil”.  Not only is soybean oil highly processed and extremely high in Omega 6s, it is also goitrogenic and suppresses thyroid and hormonal function. The Standard American Diet is loaded with Omega 6s, the over-abundance of which are responsible for causing inflammation in the body – weight issues, auto-immune problems, osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, and so on.

Here’s the ingredient list:

Unbleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate {Vitamin B1}, Riboflavin {Vitamin B2}, Folic Acid), Soybean Oil, Cornstarch, Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Potato Starch, Salt, Leavening (Calcium Phosphate And/Or Baking Soda), Sour Cream Powder* (Cultured Cream, Skim Milk), Monoglycerides (Emulsifier), Onion Powder, Dextrose, Monosodium Glutamate (Flavor Enhancer), Skim Milk, Natural Flavor, Spices, Whey, Disodium Inosinate And Disodium Guanylate (Flavor Enhancers), Citric Acid, Modified Corn Starch, Cultured Cream*, Milkfat*, Soy Lecithin. *Adds A Trivial Amount Of Cholesterol. Contains: Wheat, Milk, Soy.

Even if the Omega 3 claim wasn’t there, doesn’t this ingredient list send chills up your spine? Yikes!

www.mypicshares.com

I also found this other product, a “vegetarian” product called Life’s DHA, which is backed by “clinical research” to improve health.

The web site claims it is fish-free and made from “algae cell culture and results in a highly purified DHA oil”.  What the heck does that mean? Oh, and it also says it is used in “99% of all infant formulas” on the market, which means it’s full of toxic ingredients and no nutritional value. See my post on infant formulas.

Anything that starts off as natural and ends as a “purified” oil should immediately be suspect. Most oils on the market are far from pure, are highly processed, go through a chemical alkalinization process where a base is added to alter the chemical properties of the substance through heat and become oxidized, and are deodorized to remove any taste or odor issues with the product.

This processing alters the original chemical makeup of the food and renders it devoid of nutrients. And yet, millions and millions of consumers will read the claims on the label (which fails to provide this information) and think to themselves, “sounds good to me!”

There are endless products in the store which will claim to deliver Omega 3 health benefits. The bottom line is, these should be avoided. Real food is the only sure source of valuable, brain and heart supporting Omega 3 essential fatty acids.

Best sources of Omega 3s:

Enough of this nonsense already. Get your Omega 3s from real foods with real nutrients, not fake, processed foods in the store with a shelf life of several years, and which after sitting around that long will still look the same.

Read the other posts in the Deceptions in the Food Industry series: 

Lean meats

Low fat foods

All natural

5 Comments

  • February 28, 2012 - 3:01 PM | Permalink

    Wow, that list of ingredients is utterly disgusting! It astounds me that such dead factory foods can claim to have usable Omega 3′s. I do not believe that anyone can get useful nutrients from processed food.

    And Soybean Oil? That stuff is so bad that words fail me.

    Thanks again, Raine, for getting the truth out there.

  • February 29, 2012 - 9:20 AM | Permalink

    I love all your deception posts! Always good to be reminded how slick those food manufacturers are with their labels. Keep the posts coming!!!

  • Erik
    July 22, 2012 - 4:23 PM | Permalink

    The irony is that it’s the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fats that’s important to health. There’s so much Omega 6 in soybean oil that the unhealthy effects far outweigh any benefit you’d get from the Omega 3 content. Ritz is implying a health benefit, when the true health impact is exactly the opposite.

  • Pingback: Deceptions in the Food Industry: Baked versus Fried | Next Level Nutrition

  • Christine
    December 25, 2013 - 12:02 PM | Permalink

    Deception is the name of the money game in food processing. That list of ingredients makes me sick. I’ve learned that I cannot eat anything if it HAS a label on it, period. I only eat whole foods, fruits, vegetables, grass-fed meats, pastured no-soy chickens and eggs, Alaskan wild-caught salmon, nuts, seeds, etc. I would prefer to starve to death before I would put anything processed into my mouth. It’s just not worth it.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>