Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Fish is a great source of protein and, unlike fatty meat products, it’s not high in saturated fat. Fish is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for your heart. The study has shown that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Is Necessary To Eat fish at least twice a week.

The American Heart Association recommends eating 2 servings of fish (particularly fatty fish) per week. A serving is 3.5 ounces cooked or about ¾ cup of flaked fish. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, and albacore tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids.

There’s a catch – avoid mercury.

Some types of fish may contain high levels of mercury, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), dioxins, and other environmental contaminants. Levels of these substances are usually highest in older, larger, predatory fish and marine mammals.

The Benefits and Risks of Eating Fish Vary Depending on a Person’s Stage of Life.

Pregnant woman and children are recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to:

  • Avoid consuming those fish with the potential for the highest level of mercury contamination (such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish).
  • Consume a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury (such as canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, catfish).
  • Check local reports about the safety of fish caught by family and friends in local lakes, rivers, and coastal areas.

For middle-aged and older men and postmenopausal women, the benefits far outweigh the potential risks when the amount of fish eaten is within the instructions established by the FDA and Environmental Protection Agency.

Eating a variety of fish will help reduce any potential adverse outcomes due to environmental pollutants.

Five of the most commonly eaten fish or shellfish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, pollock, salmon, and catfish. Avoid eating swordfish, shark, king Mackerel, or tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury.

 

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