Oakhurst Dairy, northern New England's largest independent family-owned dairy company, announced that it is has started stocking dairy cases in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts with its new Oakhurst Plus Omega-3 Lowfat milk (1%). The new product contains omega-3 essential fatty acids which research suggests can provide health benefits for the cardiovascular system, brain, eye, and possibly other body tissues. In addition, omega-3s appear to be helpful for all ages—from toddlers to seniors—as well as for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Currently, many health organizations believe that most Americans consume too little omega-3s in their diets. To learn more about the new product, visit: http://www.oakhurstdairy.com/products/#plus-milk.
According to a recent survey called Shopping for Health 2011by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and Prevention Magazine, today's consumers want to know what is in their food and they want to better understand the nutritional components of what they eat. The survey also revealed that consumers are looking for products that contain key health ingredients to supplement their diet. Products that include omega-3s were noted as one of the top five ingredients wanted by consumers. The remaining four ingredients were fiber at number one, whole grains, protein and antioxidants.
We have always been committed to providing healthful, wholesome milk products for our customers and this new research shows that consumers are beginning to look for specific health benefits from the products they purchase,” said Bill Bennett, CEO Oakhurst Dairy. “Several years ago we realized this growing trend and introduced our Plus line. Today's launch of our new Oakhurst Plus Omega-3 milk provides our customers with another great choice—the only locally made Omega-3 milk in New England—and at a price that is 20-25 percent less than other national omega-3 enhanced milk products.”
A great deal of research has been conducted to understand the health benefits of including omega-3 fatty acids in the American diet. A component of unsaturated fats, omega-three fatty acids are considered “essential fatty acids” because they cannot be made by the body, so must be ingested. DHA and EPA are the abbreviations for the omega-3s that appear to be the most effective for the majority of health issues. They are found in highest concentration in cold-water fish and algae.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been most widely studied regarding their effects on cardiovascular health. Possible benefits include:
•Raising good cholesterol (HDL)
•Helping to keep blood vessels flexible and reduce the risk of “hardening of the arteries”
•Slowing the progression of plaque build-up in blood vessels
•Helping to lower blood pressure, decrease the risk of heart attack and enhance the benefit of statin drugs used to lower cholesterol
Additionally, omega-3s can help with eye health and may be beneficial for adults wanting to reduce their risk of retinal diseases. A diet including DHA has also been found to be beneficial for pregnant and breastfeeding women because it is important for normal brain and eye development in the fetus and infants. Additionally, DHA may help reduce the risk of premature and low birth weight babies. Omega-3s may also help maintain brain function in the country’s aging population. And, omega-3s are often recommended for persons with inflammation-related health issues because they are anti-inflammatory.
For general health, the Institute of Medicine suggests an average intake of 250 mg of omega-3 per day. A healthcare professional should be consulted to establish the appropriate intake for pregnant or breastfeeding women, or for persons with high cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, diabetes, or other specific health issues. Each 8-ounce glass of Oakhurst Plus Omega-3 Lowfat Milk contains 32 mg of EPA/DHA omega-3s.
Pam Stuppy, the Oakhurst Dairy dietitian notes, “Because of all the possible health connections, when it comes to omega -3s in the diet, every little bit helps. Our new Oakhurst Plus Omega-3 Lowfat Milk makes it easier for our customers to add some healthy omega-3s to their diet while also reaping the benefit of the other nine essential nutrients found in lowfat milk.”
Oakhurst's Plus Omega-3 Lowfat Milk is the only locally made omega-3 enhanced milk in New England and contains fish oils from Ocean Nutrition. More than 72 local Maine dairy farmers supply Oakhurst with milk. The new product is only available in half gallons and can be found in chain grocery stores such as Hannaford and Shaws Supermarkets, mass merchant stores such as Walmart and Sam's Club and many independent grocery stores and convenience stores throughout Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.
About Oakhurst Dairy
Oakhurst is northern New England's truly local brand of milk. As the region's largest independent family-owned dairy company, Oakhurst is committed to the health and wellbeing of the community and the environment. For 90 years and three generations, the Bennett family has stood behind every glass of Oakhurst milk, while contributing 10% of profits to local organizations through their Living Natural Goodness program to support healthy kids and a healthy environment—just another reason to choose Oakhurst, The Natural Goodness of Maine. For more information, visit www.oakhurstdairy.com.