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Heart Healthy Fish + More Health Benefits of Fish

Heart-healthy fish

Eat More Heart-Healthy Fish

February is American Heart Month. So if you’re not already eating fish at least a couple times each week, it’s time to start now. Why? Check out this list of reasons that fish – particularly fish rich in omega-3 fats –  is heart healthy.

  • Reduces the risk of abnormal heartbeats
  • Slows the progression of plaque in the blood vessels
  • Improves triglyceride levels
  • May tamp down high blood pressure a little bit

And there are more reasons to eat fatty fish. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids is linked to less cognitive decline with aging, reduced risk of dementia, less age-related eye disease and more!

Why not take the heart-healthy pledge!

Heart-Healthy Fish List

There are lots of fish containing heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Here are several:

  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Trout
  • Bluefish
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Halibut
  • Barramundi
  • Tuna
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Are you worried about toxins in fish?

I hear this often from my clients. Many people worry about mercury and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) in fish. Both are undesirable contaminants, but don’t let this keep you from eating health-boosting fish. A 2006 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association assessed the risks and benefits of eating fish. They found a shocking statistic that should put your mind at ease:

If 100,000 people ate farmed salmon twice weekly for 70 years, the PCBs in the fish would likely cause an extra 24 cancer deaths, but would also prevent more than 7,000 deaths from heart disease.

Why fish is good for you and how to limit your exposure to toxins.Click To Tweet

To limit risk from excess mercury, the EPA and FDA advise women who are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breast-feeding and children up to age 12 to avoid shark, swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel because of their high mercury content. This at-risk group should also limit albacore (white) tuna – no more than 6-ounces for at risk women and 1 smaller, age-appropriate serving for children under age 12. Additionally, it’s a good idea to eat a variety of fish to limit your exposure to toxins.

So now that you know why I want you to eat more fish, will you?  Try this Fish with Lemon Mustard Caper Sauce or this Asian-inspired Barramundi. Leave a comment telling me about your food and nutrition problems relating to fish. I may just have a solution (or two) for you. Meanwhile, check out 4 Easy Ways to Boost Your Fish Intake.

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Jill Weisenberger

Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND, is a Nutrition, Culinary & Diabetes Expert, Wellcoach®-certified health and wellness coach, Freelance Writer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's also the author of four books, including a best-seller. She's a nationally-recognized media expert in high demand for print and online interviews, as well as corporate and one-on-one nutritional counseling. Jill's philosophy is that nutrition science should be understandable, realistic and oh so delicious.

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4 Comments

  1. Rachel on August 17, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    My mom always tried to get us to eat fish, but that was definitely an uphill battle. She opted for supplements that mirrored the benefits of fish, like Omega-3 fats. Incorporating fish into your family’s diet early on is definitely a smart idea. Thanks for sharing the tips.

    • Jill Weisenberger on August 17, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      Thanks for commenting Rachel. Something nice about fish is that there are so many types. There should be something for nearly everyone. Plus, we can cook fish with the same flavors we use for other foods we really like. I am a huge fish taco fan! You are right – it helps when parents introduce fish early and often.

  2. Lillian Schaeffer on April 4, 2017 at 11:11 am

    I like how you mentioned that eating fish can slow the progression of plaque in the blood vessels. My family has had a history of having plaque buildup, and I want to try and avoid it so I can keep my heart healthy. I don’t eat fish too frequently, but maybe it would be a good idea to eat seafood more often.

    • Jill Weisenberger on April 4, 2017 at 11:24 am

      Indeed it is a good idea. It’s the fish rich in omega-3 fats that are especially heart healthy. Choose salmon, trout, barramundi, herring and others with this good-for-fat. Here’s my recipe for Aisan-inspired fish, and even simpler fish with lemon-mustard caper sauce. Perhaps the easiest thing that I do with fish is whisk up lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and a bunch of fresh basil leaves. Just pour it over baked fish right before serving. Hope you enjoy some new fish meals.

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Like most of my patients and clients, I lead a busy life. You probably do too. Fortunately, you don’t need weeks, days or even hours to start living better and healthier. This blog offers timesaving strategies and bite-sized nutrition and health information. Come by often for tips and inspiration to healthy living – no matter how busy you are. I am a registered dietitian nutritionist offering credible, practical nutrition advice to keep busy people healthy. Yes indeed, we can be both busy and healthy.

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11747 Jefferson Avenue Suite 1-B
Newport News, VA 23606

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