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Friday, March 7, 2008

Fish is Probably Healthy, Even With Mercury

If you are one of the many Americans that have decided to forgo fish because of the potential mercury risk, then you may want to think again. Although mercury is found in some fish, the risk of not eating fish might be worse than consuming mercury.

Fish are a high source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s protect the body against cardiovascular disease and can cut heart attack risk by a third.

Not all fish have the same levels of mercury and studies have shown that fish must be consumed frequently (more than three servings per day, a few times a week) over a period of months or years to pose a threat. The threat that is posed is still under question. It appears that neurological symptoms can be found in those who eat fish high in mercury on a regular basis, such as sensory imbalance, but even those symptoms have been shown to go away when mercury is taken from the diet.

If you love fish, or simply want to supply yourself with Omega-3 fatty acids and keep yourself heart healthy, you should be aware of the safest practices for consuming fish. Shellfish such as crab, lobster, scallops and shrimp is the best choice; they are small and live short lives, making them lower in mercury. Tuna, which is high in Omega-3’s, is also a bit higher in mercury. Eating light tuna can cut your mercury intake, but it will also lower your Omega-3 fatty acid intake. Eating a diet with a variety of fish is safest. Eat salmon, tuna and shellfish, but vary your intake.

This advice does not hold true for women who are trying to become pregnant, are pregnant, or are nursing. These women should cut fish from their diet and find supplemental ways to add Omega-3’s to their diet. Infants are more susceptible to mercury risks.

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At May 30, 2008 10:58 PM , Blogger Terry said...

I agree with the suggestions regarding the importance of fish in our diet especially since they are high source of Omega-3 which is the best protection against cardiovascular threats. I was recently blessed with a baby boy and during my wife’s pregnancy, our doctor has suggested against having sea food because of the mercury content and potential threat to the baby. Her nutrition friend suggested her to try new vitality’s triple strength omega-3 which contains EPA, DHA and fish oil but zero mercury. The supplement suited my wife perfectly well.


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