Eating Fish for Heart Health

fish-heart-attackIs fish good for your heart? You may become aware of the health benefits of eating fish but you’re not so sure its heart-healthy benefits. Now the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard University has given strong evidence for that and in the report published in JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) it made it clear that eating it regularly could prevent cardiovascular disease. In addition, this report also added that taking this food one to three times weekly can reduce your heart attack risk by 21%.

When it comes to maintaining a healthy heart, many of you feel the need to make big personal sacrifices, such as dieting and exercising to lose weight. In fact, one of the best ways to protect your heart is not the deprivation of your enjoyment of life and the use of medications. Instead, making adjustments to your diet can provide more help.

The heart and vascular experts in Britain recently pointed out that eating more fish could help reduce the frequency of heart attacks. And US scientists think that too low Omega-3 fatty acid levels in the blood will increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Since fish contains large amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, eating it may provide extra protection and lead to lowered incidence of cardiovascular disease. And some cardiologists go further and argue that the Omega-3 fatty acid levels in the blood could tell you whether or not you are likely to have heart attacks and other fatal coronary events. That’s to say, the level less than 4% indicates a very higher risk while more than 8% means a very low risk.

An important point to make here: the fish we are talking about here also include mollusks and crustaceans (mussels and clams) and aquatic reptiles (shrimp, crab and lobster). It is worth mentioning that cold water fish contains an essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) called ω-3 or n-3 fatty acids, which have an impact on human lipid metabolism and lower triglycerides and total cholesterol while increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL). In addition, studies have shown that they may also inhibit platelet release reaction and aggregation. For that reason, eating fish can prevent atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease and myocardial infarction. No wonder The American Heart Association published the recommended diet and advised people to eat this food at least twice a week.

Fish also provides a number of high-quality protein and other heart-healthy nutrients. Besides, it is appetizing because it can make your diet more pleasing to the eyes. However, don’t stick to the same species. Instead, it will benefit you more by changing different species in your diet. For example, you can rotate salmon, shrimp, and octopus on a weekly basis. By the way, it is a good idea to purchase seafood frozen on the ship that caught it since they are fresher and more beneficial to heart health.

To be clear, the heart-healthy benefits of eating fish depend largely on the quality, toxicity levels, and other components of a balanced diet. That’s to say, you have to make sure that its benefits outweigh the risks. First, some types of deep ocean fish, especially salmon and sardines, can do a better job in boosting heart health. Second, changes in diet and exercise can sometimes make a huge difference in naturally preventing and curing cardiovascular disease. In other words, in addition to fish itself plenty of fruits and vegetables should be a regular part of your diet too. Only in this way can the heart-healthy fats and protein help you. Third, wild-caught fish is your best bet since the farmed one usually contains dioxin-like compounds. Besides, don’t forget to avoid those with high levels of mercury and arsenic due to water pollution.

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