ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Wegmans here has launched a new, private-label line of breads fortified with omega-3 fatty acids, the polyunsaturated fats that nutrition experts say can help improve cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and certain cancers.
h as George Weston Foods have been using a form of the technique to infuse bread with omega-3s for more than two years, but the process is still relatively new to the United States.
Omega-3s are found naturally in foods such as salmon, tuna, flax seed, canola oil and certain nuts, but the American diet is largely deficient in the essential nutrient.
During the past several years, Wegmans has developed several omega-3-enhanced private-label products including eggs, imitation crabmeat and infant formula.
With 40 to 45 milligrams of omega-3s per slice, the fortified breads contain much less of the nutrient than a 3-ounce serving of salmon, which contains about 1,400 milligrams.
The new dietary guidelines released this month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture advise Americans to eat at least two servings of "oily" fish, such as salmon, per week. "The new breads won't provide as many omega-3 fats as salmon, but they're an easy way to get a little more of a very good thing," the company said in a release. Priced at $1.99 per loaf, the new breads have been rolled out to all of the chain's 67 stores.