For the past two years, I’ve started every morning with two chocolate Omega Passion® bars and a strong cup of coffee.
It sounds strange, I realize, for an old doctor to indulge in chocolate on a daily basis. Most of us have internalized the idea that chocolate should only be eaten occasionally, as a treat.
But what if this antioxidant-rich food could be a vehicle for better everyday nutrition? What if chocolate could be a tool in fighting obesity and chronic illness?
Let me explain:
Long before my wife and I started Omega3 Innovations, we both practiced medicine in Norway. As with most physicians, much of the job involved examining sick patients and prescribing treatments and medications.
Over the years, however, we realized we felt most passionate about preventive medicine. Preventive medicine is where you can make the biggest impact on people’s health. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 80% of all heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes cases are preventable, as well as 40% of all cancers. One of the biggest culprits behind these conditions? Lifestyle factors.
In talks with patients, I learned early on that many people unfortunately aren’t willing to make significant diet or lifestyle changes until they are ill and afraid. But I also discovered that pleasure – and the feeling of getting a reward – is a powerful motivator, too.
That’s why, when we started exploring ways to make it easier for people to get enough omega-3s, we thought: “Could chocolate be the vehicle?”
After all, is there any food better associated with a reward than chocolate?
Meet Omega Passion’s superfood ingredients list: Dark chocolate, oats, Greek yogurt, cod liver oil, walnuts, cinnamon, and vitamin D3.
When people taste Omega Passion, they often describe it as a “treat.” When I list the ingredients, however, people’s impression starts to change.
Omega Passion isn’t a generic chocolate bar that can be found at supermarkets: These 2-oz chocolate meal replacements contain as much omega-3 as a 3-oz serving of salmon (1500 mg of EPA/DHA).
What’s more, each bar is loaded with 5 grams of fiber from walnuts and gluten-free oats, probiotics from Greek yogurt, non-alkalized dark chocolate, cinnamon, and 1400 IUs of vitamin D3.
Many food manufacturers build their product around a single hyped ingredient or trend (e.g. CBD, “plant-based”) without much regard for the other elements. That’s how you end up with vitamin chews that are high in sugar and other additives (e.g. preservatives, food colors).
We started by determining the nutrients that people really needed – like omega-3s, probiotics, and fibers. Next, we selected whole food ingredients that contained these nutrients (like gluten-free oats and our high-quality fish oil, Omega Cure®).
Here is a little bit more about each of the ingredients in Omega Passion, and why we like to call it the “Superfood Champion®”:
Despite the attention they’ve gotten over the last few decades, omega-3 fatty acids are still lacking in Western diets. We’ve all heard the advice that we should be eating fish at least two times per week. Still, less than 20% of Americans actually follow this recommendation.
Low fish consumption – coupled with significant intake of pro-inflammatory processed foods – can explain why an estimated 95% of Americans have low omega-3 index levels. Low omega-3 levels are linked with a wide range of chronic diseases, as well as chronic inflammation. That’s why increasing our intake of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids is critical.
Each Omega Passion bar contains as much omega-3 as a 3 oz serving of salmon (or about the equivalent of 5 regular fish oil capsules). Best of all, because of our high-quality omega-3 oil, there’s no fishy taste or smell – just a rich, chocolatey flavor.
Each Omega Passion bar contains 1500 mg of EPA/DHA from Omega Cure.
Fiber is another critical aspect of good health. Consuming certain types of prebiotic fibers – like inulin, fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), and beta-glucan – feed the microbiome, or the good bacteria that reside in our bodies. Beta-glucans also seem to have a positive effect on the immune system.
While we all should be aiming for between 25-30 grams of fiber per day, most Americans only consume between 10 to 15 grams daily. With two Omega Passion bars containing about ⅓ of your daily fiber dose, this chocolate makes it easier to reach your quota.
Studies indicate that consuming diets rich in antioxidants (or polyphenols) may have protective benefits against a wide range of diseases, including certain types of cancers and heart disease. Getting enough antioxidants, however, can sometimes be less clear-cut, especially since factors like food processing can significantly impact the antioxidant content of our meals.
Take dark chocolate as an example. While cocoa is a great source of antioxidants, most commercial chocolate products are Dutch processed. Dutch processing chocolate means that the cocoa powder is treated with alkali to soften the flavor. Unfortunately, studies have found that Dutch processing chocolate can reduce the antioxidant content of the cocoa by almost 80%!
For Omega Passion, we use non-alkalized dark chocolate to preserve higher levels of antioxidants in the final product.
Thanks to promising new research showing that the microbiome plays a critical role in regulating chronic illness, probiotics are starting to receive a lot of attention. It’s a vast area of study – particularly since there are thousands of different types of probiotics, all of which impact the microbiome in unique ways.
To date, some small-scale, but promising studies indicate that Greek yogurt may have especially good effects on the gut, both thanks to the yogurt’s favorable bacterial cultures and because solid foods tend to be more satiating than liquid foods.
Omega Passion does not contain any preservatives, so it should be stored cold either in the refrigerator or freezer.
In addition to containing the omega-3 fatty acid ALA, walnuts are a good source of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins. With their stellar nutritional profile, it’s not surprising that walnuts have particularly beneficial effects for the microbiome. Studies routinely find that eating walnuts positively influences weight management, blood lipid levels, and brain health.
Cinnamon adds wonderful flavor to Omega Passion. In addition, animal and cell studies indicate that cinnamon may have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant effects.
While the best source of vitamin D3 comes from sun exposure, many factors – including our indoor lifestyles – can make it hard to get sufficient amounts. This is particularly true for people who cover up with protective clothing or sunscreen during the summer months.
Each Omega Passion bar contains 1400 IUs of vitamin D3, which is comparable to the amount of vitamin D3 you’d get in a 6 oz portion of trout.
With its superfood ingredients, how does Omega Passion impact our customers? We’ve observed several interesting findings so far:
One of the things that we’ve been most excited to learn is that Omega Passion significantly increases consumers’ omega-3 index levels. On average, people’s omega-3 levels doubled after eating one Omega Passion every day over an 8-week period. One young boy had an omega-3 index of just 2.5% when he started. After 3 months, his numbers quadrupled to 10%!
These results are significant in that they rival the numbers reported by prescription omega-3 users. Although our theory needs more research, our hypothesis is that the omega-3s may be better absorbed due to the other microbiome-friendly ingredients in Omega Passion.
Surveys show that the majority of Americans have too low omega-3 index levels, with numbers typically in the 3% – 5% range.
We regularly hear that consumers feel fuller for substantially longer periods of time when eating Omega Passion compared to their regular breakfasts. A number of our customers also tell us that the richness of these bars satisfy their sweet tooth, allowing them to save half of their Omega Passion for later.
There are many “fun-sized” versions of food products out there, designed to be eaten mindlessly and in massive quantities. But improving satiation is paramount in the fight against obesity. That’s why we take it as a high compliment when people tell us they have to eat half a bar at time.
At 240 calories per bar, we also encourage users to think of Omega Passion as a meal replacement.
Omega Passion users have shared other feedback with us as well. One of our customers told us that – after giving Omega Passion to her 10-year-old every day – she saw a significant improvement in his ability to focus on his homework and his response to sensory stimuli. The boy’s teachers noticed a difference too. His handwriting improved, as did his ability to do math problems in his head. These anecdotal remarks are similar to the results from clinical studies focused on giving omega-3 supplements to children with learning disabilities and behavioral challenges.
Adult users have also told us that eating Omega Passion seemed to elevate mood and produce more regular bowel movements. These factors are likely related to the combination of the omega-3s and fibers in Omega Passion.
As we’ve discussed over and over, preventive medicine is more important now than ever. The prevalence of chronic conditions (like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer) is growing steadily due to lifestyle and diet factors, as well as the world’s aging population.
One of the best ways to fight back is with good nutrition that rivals junk food’s taste and convenience.
Omega Passion is our solution – and that’s why I’ll continue to eat my two “bars of chocolate” every morning.