This We Know for Sure: Eating Fish Benefits Heart Health
If you are looking for natural ways to improve your heart health, eating more fish is a smart choice. Study after study indicates that eating fish at least once a week, preferably twice, decreases your risk of heart disease. A few of the benefits of consuming omega-3 rich fish include stabilizing your heart rhythm, improving your blood pressure, and reducing your risk of developing a blood clot. In other words, eating your favorite kinds of seafood regularly could save your life!
Heart-disease has been the leading cause of death in the U.S. for the last eighty years. It’s estimated that around 84,000 lives could be saved every year if Americans ate seafood regularly.
Supplements vs. Seafood
Omega-3 fatty acids are heart-healthy fats found in seafood. These essential fats are also found in flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, and walnuts, but it is harder for your body to absorb it from these vegetarian sources. Many people believe that taking an omega-3 supplement is as good, if not better, than eating seafood. According to researchers, taking a supplement isn’t as beneficial.
Researchers believe the eating seafood regularly is more beneficial than taking omega-3 supplements. Seafood has a unique combination of valuable nutrients, along with omega-3 fatty acids, that powerfully protect your heart.
Those nutrients include:
- Lean Protein
- Vitamin D
According to Eric Rimm, Professor at Harvard School of Public Health, “People tend to equate the omega-3 supplement trials with the studies on eating fish, but they’re not comparable.” Studies on omega-3 supplements don’t replicate the benefits of eating seafood. If you want to get the full benefits of eating seafood, don’t rely on supplements. Enjoy the whole fish instead!
The amount of omega-3s in seafood varies depending on the type of fish or shellfish. Follow this chart to get the recommended amount of omega-3 fatty acids per week.
One 6-oz serving per week of:
- anchovies (canned)
- salmon (farm-raised,
- wild-caught, or canned)
- trout (farm-raised)
- Two 6-oz servings per week of
- Atlantic mackerel
- salt cod/bacalao
- sardines (canned)
- trout (wild-caught)
- Three 6-oz servings per week of
- ocean perch
Chart from Harvard Medical School, Heart Letter
Change Your Diet, Change Your Life
Another advantage of eating fish, instead of taking a supplement, is the replacement benefit. You can reduce your calories and cut down on unhealthy cholesterol by replacing red meat, like steak, or processed meat, like bacon, with seafood, like salmon or tuna. These types of nutrient-rich food choices can have a profound impact on your health over time. Regularly making healthy choices like this will improve your diet and may help you maintain a healthy weight.
Your heart health is critical if you want to live a long life. Both the USDA and American Heart Association agree that eating 2 servings of seafood a week can protect this essential muscle. You can find a wide selection of freshly caught seafood at City Fish Market. We are the go-to fish market for residents throughout Southern New England. If you need tips on cooking seafood to perfection or want to find a new fish recipe, browse our blog!