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We were recently in the United States where additives are much more permitted than they are in Canada.  There we found a new peanut butter blended with fish oil.  On the label was a large claim for its Omega-3 content.

Our company helped launch liquid eggs with Omega-3 from fish oil blended into it back when people were still learning about Omega-3 and regulations for claims had yet to be established.  We learned a lot as we pioneered claims for our client.

Certainly our children are not getting enough fish in their diet and with current trends, probably will get even less in the future. Omega-3 is critical for the development of focus, concentration and mental acuity as well as eyesight.

Our diets are narrowing despite the fact that we evolved based on a diet of incredible variety.  With that narrowing diet, we are eating more of what we crave: fats and sugars and less other things.  We have refined these fats and sugars to make them easier to digest and absorb.  As a result of that enriched diet and less exercise, we have a plague of obesity while we lack many essential nutrients.

That was one of the reasons we initiated and helped Subway’s Jared start a foundation to fight childhood obesity.

Trying to patch up a bad diet with additives, in our opinion, creates a false sense that we are eating right.  The additives are part of a guilt reduction technique that lets us eat a brownie because we are drinking diet colas.

A lot of the ways we try to compensate is through individual nutrients, like omega-3.  But a diet needs a range of nutrients.

I have been working in food marketing for more than 30 years.  During that time, I have had many meetings with Governmental agencies relating to food claims while working on a wide range of products from eggs, to pudding, to cereals, to fast food, to artificial sweeteners and genetically engineered vegetables.

What I have learned is that a balanced diet is a better way to maintain health that try to shore up your nutrition through foods with added vitamins or higher antioxidants.

If you feel you need to, go ahead and take vitamins and minerals as supplements in your diet.  But eating something like peanut butter to get more omega-3 is silly – especially when there is great tasting fish out there with high levels of omega-3 that would make a wonderful part of your diet.  Or if you are not eating enough fish, take fish oil.

There really is no substitute to a balanced diet. Try as best you can to follow the Canada Food Guide and you may discover new and wonderful foods that make life more interesting.

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