Facts About Fish
Delicious and nutritious
Delicious and nutritious
Low-fat fish provides a quality replacement for fatty meats. The protein in fish supplies your body with necessary building blocks that help your physical and mental health.
Fish also contains plenty of vitamins and minerals. Riboflavin and vitamins B-2 and D help get calcium into bones.
Other health boosting minerals include iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, and selenium.
Reap the heart healthy and disease fighting benefits of these scaly creatures. Click through the slideshow to learn more about the health benefits of fish.
All about omega-3s
All about omega-3s
Perhaps the most important advantage of eating fish comes from the omega-3 fatty acids in both finfish and shellfish.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, omega-3s help protect against heart disease and may help lower your blood pressure. They can also reduce inflammation.
Types of fish that contain the most omega-3s include:
Research shows omega-3s may also help increase your lifespan. In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers reported on 2,600 older adults.
Among those adults who had the highest blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids lived an average two years longer than those with lower levels of omega-3s.
Study participants with the highest omega-3 levels reduced their risk of dying — from any cause — up to 27 percent compared with those who had lower levels.
Studies have shown a link between eating fish and heart health. A 2014 review of recent studies published in the American Journal of Medicine confirmed that eating fish helps prevent heart disease.
The review reported that the more fish people ate, the greater the protection against heart disease.
Even eating fish just once a week helped reduce men’s risk of heart failure. This finding was reported in a study conducted by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, associated with Harvard Medical Center, and published in the European Heart Journal.
Some people eat fish to help with symptoms that affect thinking. These types of symptoms often occur with disorders and diseases that include:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
According to a study published by the journal Nature Clinical Practice Neurology, there is some evidence that fish oil may even help prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
But there have been mixed results in research about the effects of fish oil on ADHD and psychosis. However, in some cases it may improve these conditions for certain age groups.
According to a report by the Mayo Clinic, researchers believe fish oil can lower triglycerides by as much as 50 percent. High levels of triglycerides have been linked with cardiovascular disease and diabetes when left untreated.
The effectiveness of fish oil in lowering triglyceride levels in people with heart problems has inspired the FDA approval of prescribed fish oil supplements or omega-3-acid ethyl esters (Lovaza).
Also, some over-the-counter fish oil supplements utilize fish rich in omega-3 in their formulations.
The mercury content in fish has created some cause for concern. However, small amounts of mercury occur naturally within the environment, and most adults face no health risks from mercury.
However, according to a report by the Harvard School of Public Health, eating large amounts of certain types of fish may cause health risks.
Swordfish, king mackerel, and shark are the most likely to be contaminated with mercury.
How to prepare
How to prepare
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating at least two servings of fish a week — especially fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids. A serving is about 3.5 ounces, which is about the size of a deck of cards.
Avoid eating fish that has been fried or breaded. It will up your fat intake and cancel out the health benefits.
Instead, enjoy steamed or grilled fish, baked cod and salmon, or broiled halibut, which are low in calories and high in protein.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, Inuits have a diet high in fish with omega-3 fatty acids and have low incidence of heart disease.
Their high fish consumption may account for high levels of HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol, despite their consumption of high-fat and high-cholesterol foods.
So take a tip from the Inuits and eat more fish! A diet rich in the omega-3 fatty acids in fish can help you stay heart healthy and live longer.
- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. (2009, April 22). Eating fatty fish once a week reduces men's risk of heart failure [Press release]. Retrieved from http://www.bidmc.org/News/InResearch/2009/April/BenefitsofFattyFish.aspx
- Fish: Friend or foe? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/fish/
- Fish and omega-3 fatty acids. (2015, June 15). Retrieved from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/HealthyDietGoals/Fish-and-Omega-3-Fatty-Acids_UCM_303248_Article.jsp#.VzNsNRUrLfA
- Fotuhi, M., Mohassel, P., & Yaffe, K. (2009, March). Fish consumption, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and risk of cognitive decline or Alzheimer disease: A complex association [Abstract]. Nature Clinical Practice Neurology 5(3), 140-52. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19262590
- Lee, J. H., O'Keefe, J. H., Lavie, C. J., Marchioli, R., Harris, W. S. (2008, March). Omega-3 fatty acids for cardioprotection. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 83(3), 324-332. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18316000
- Levitan, E. B., Wolk, A., Mittleman, M. A. Fish consumption, marine omega-3 fatty acids, and incidence of heart failure: A population-based prospective study of middle-aged and elderly men. (2009, April 21). European Heart Journal 30(12), 1495-1500. Retrieved from http://eurheartj.oxfordjournals.org/content/30/12/1495
- Mayo Clinic. (2008, March 12). Cardiovascular benefits of omega-3 fatty acids reviewed. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080310164906.htm
- Mozaffarian, D., Lemaitre, R. N., King, I. B., Song, X., Huang, H., Sacks, F. M., … Siscovick, D. S. (2013, April 2). Plasma phospholipid long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and total and cause-specific mortality in older adults: A cohort study. Annals of Internal Medicine, 158(7), 515-525. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3698844/
- Nelson, J., & Zeratsky, K. (2011, June 1). Fish and heart health. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-blog/heart-healthy-fish/bgp-20056150
- Omega-fatty acids (2015, August 5). Retrieved from http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/omega3-fatty-acids
- Omega-3 fatty acids (2013, October). Retrieved from http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/heart/prevention/nutrition/food-choices/omega-3-fatty-acids
- Sylvie S. L., Yinko, L., Stark, K. D., Thanassoulis, & G. Pilote, L. (2014, September). Fish consumption and acute coronary syndrome: A meta-analysis. American Journal of Medicine, 127(9), 848-857. Retrieved from http://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(14)00355-6/fulltext