We know fish oil, healthy canola oil and barley are good for heart health, but imagine them all packaged together in a cholesterol-fighting cookie that actually tastes good. This bioactive dessert is one example of the food products being developed at the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals in Winnipeg.

Dr. Nancy Ames used the “fish oil” cookie to portray how scientists are finding ways to improve the health and quality aspects of mainstream foods at an event called “Does Science Belong on My Plate?” at the Richardson Centre, located on University of Manitoba campus.

The cookie contains docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, a healthy Omega 3 oil that is naturally found in fish and algae (although there is work underway to produce canola oil containing DHA.) As Ames explains in the video below, this fatty acid is important for brain health and reducing cholesterol.

“This small cookie actually contains the equivalent of 1,000 milligrams of DHA, which is the same as eating a whole serving of salmon,” she explains. “It has high-oleic acid canola oil, and it contains barley. All those things lower cholesterol.”

Taste is obviously important if they’re hoping to have people actually eat this bioactive cookie, so they ended up going with a pumpkin spice flavour, she says.

“We were very concerned about the taste of it. Can you taste fish oil? Does it taste too oily? Can you taste any of the bioactives? We’ve maintained their nutritional activity, and now we’re going to take three different bioactives that we know lower cholesterol, and we’ll see what happens,” says Ames.

The cookie will be used for an upcoming study on combining several bioactives for lowering cholesterol.

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