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Health Benefits of Fish and Fish Oils

Posted Jun 04 2008 7:04pm

There is a lot of truth behind the old saying,

"You are what you eat!"

There's no doubt that healthy eating habits contribute to a healthy body. It's been known for decades that heart health, weight control, illness prevention and overall body functioning are all affected by what we eat.

Many of the studies about beneficial omega-3 fatty acids focus on fish as the primary source. Salmon, sardines, tuna and even shellfish are rich in omega-3 fatty acid content, but increasing your consumption of all types of fish and seafood is recommended.

The American Heart Association recommends that you eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids twice a week in order to reap specific health benefits. The American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Women's Health and Nutrition position paper suggests consuming two to three fish meals per week, along with a low-fat diet, for heart health. - It is believed that even tofu and other forms of soybeans, canola, walnut and flaxseed, can be beneficial. These contain alpha-linolenic acid (LNA), which can become omega-3 fatty acid in the body.

Increasing omega-3 fatty acid intake through foods is preferable. However, coronary artery disease patients may not be able to get enough omega-3 by diet alone. These people may want to talk to their doctor about taking a supplement. Supplimentation is the next best thing if you can't actually consume enough omega-3 fatty acids in foods.

What about Mercury? There has been a lot of concern about contaminated fish with high mercury levels.
The EPA provides a lot of useful information about Mercury in fish and specific state warnings. They also offer advice for pregnant or nursing mothers.

Dr. Dominic Gaziano - Dr. G
The Feel Good Health Guy
Health & Wellness Expert

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