Before learning all about New Harvest this morning, we started the day with breakfast at the hotel. We had a wonderful spread of fresh fruit, yogurt, muffins, pastries, eggs, French toast, bagels, bacon, sausage… seriously, there were a ton of options.
I scoped out the food options and then headed straight for the COFFEE! I drank 2.5 cups with soy milk over the course of the morning. I definitely needed it. I don’t do well on less than 6 hours of sleep.
My plates + coffee + water:
After breakfast, we heard from Jenna Bell, PhD, RD, CSSD and Sujata Bhatia, MD, PhD, who explained the importance of omega-3′s in our diets. Most Americans don’t eat enough fatty fish, so we’re not consuming enough omega-3′s. In fact, only 1 in 10 Americans meet the recommended 2 servings of fatty fish per week and 17% never eat fish. I definitely don’t meet the recommended amount. Do you?
Ok, so we need to eat more omega-3′s, but did you know that not all omega-3′s are the same? Most people (including me) are unable to differentiate between the types of omega-3 fatty acids, which are EPA, DHA, and ALA. Here’s a quick summary:
- EPA: A long-chain fatty acid found in fish, fish oil supplements. It is known to support heart health.
- DHA: Another long-chain fatty acid also found in fish and fish oil supplements. It is often associated with brain development in infants.
- ALA: A short-chain fatty acid found in plant sources like dark green leafy vegetables, flaxseeds, walnuts, and a variety of vegetable oils. A small amount (about 5%) converts to EPA in the body.
So, EPA and DHA come from fish. ALA comes from a variety of vegetable sources. So, if you’re only eating veggie-based omega-3′s and not eating fish, you’re missing out on EPA and DHA. (The conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA in the human body is really weak.)
Since our bodies do not produce omega-3′s and its conversion is inefficient, it’s important to get the right omega-3 fatty acids in your diet through food or supplements. The recommend two servings of fatty fish per week averages out to about 500 mg of EPA per day. A single New Harvest capsule provides 600 mg of EPA. It’s also 100% vegetarian and naturally free of environmental contaminants, PCBs, mercury, and lead.
After hearing all about the health benefits of New Harvest, Mike Saltzberg, PhD, explained how it’s made. New Harvest is made from a special yeast, called Yarrowia lipolytica, which is transformed into EPA. Here’s a detailed explanation of the process.
Yeast before and after:
Finally, Kathryn Lee, New Harvest’s Marketing Manager, provided us with two diagnostics tests to check the omega-3 levels in our bodies. She explained that if we want to see whether we get any health benefits from taking New Harvest, we should take one test now and the second one 6 weeks later to see if our omega-3 levels increase.
I have a feeling that if New Harvest didn’t believe in their product, they wouldn’t have encouraged us to take these tests. I’m definitely going to give it a whirl. Plus, I love doing “body experiments” like this! I’ll let you know how it goes.
Mid-morning, while blogging this post, I snacked on a KIND bar. I think I should have eaten a bigger breakfast.
Next, we’re off to the Franklin Institute and to see a vegetarian cooking demonstration.
More to come!