Cost Implications of Alternative Sources of (n-3) Fatty Acid Consumption in the United States1-3

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Abstract

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 provides authoritative advice on what Americans should eat to stay healthy. These guidelines provide a quantitative recommendation to consume 250 mg/d of (n-3) fatty acids (also known as omega-3 fatty acids). To achieve this goal, Americans would need to more than triple the amount of EPA and DHA currently consumed. This paper assessed the cost implications of increased levels of EPA and DHA from marine and nonmarine food sources using data from the 2007-2008 NHANES, USDA nutrient data base, and the USDA Center for the Nutrition Policy and Promotion food price data. Stearidonic acid (SDA)-enhanced soybean oil is a lower cost alternative to commonly consumed marine food as a source of EPA. In addition, given that SDA-enhanced soybean oil is intended to be used as an ingredient in a variety of products, this may enable consumers to increase consumption of EPA through commonly consumed foods. J. Nutr. 142: 605S-609S, 2012.

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