Organic milk and meat pack about 50 percent more omega-3s than conventional milk and meat, according to a new study published in British Journal of Nutrition.
In the biggest study of its kind, researchers from the U.K.’s Newcastle University systematically analyzed an international collection of 196 papers about milk and 67 papers about meat and found big differences in terms of nutritional components, especially in the fatty acid department.
Why the difference? Researchers linked them to the cows’ outdoor grazing and low concentrate feeding, the diet prescribed by organic standards.
Chris Seal, Professor of Food and Human Nutrition at Newcastle University explained in a university release: “Omega-3s are linked to reductions in cardiovascular disease, improved neurological development and function, and better immune function … But getting enough in our diet is difficult. Our study suggests that switching to organic would go some way towards improving intakes of these important nutrients.”
In the U.S. men only get 50 percent and women only get 40 percent of the omega-3s they need daily, according to the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s. Switching to organic milk and meat could raise omega intake without increasing calories and undesirable saturated fat, the researchers note. And, if you’re not concerned about saturated fat, you might enjoy organic ice cream even more, knowing it’s helping you get your omega-3s.