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Saturday, August 22, 2009

How good is fish for your diet?

Written by Tena Moore

Fish, especially fatty fish eaten in moderation, is excellent for anyone’s diet. While the term ‘fatty’ might make some cringe, these fish are the healthiest and tastiest of all fish, and are considered a great source of ‘good’, heart healthy fats. According to the American Dietetic Association, fatty fish to consume on a regular basis are: sardines, herring, tuna, trout, mackerel, and salmon. A number of studies have shown that eating these fish can reduce risk of heart disease.

Fatty, cold water fish are low fat and contain high amounts of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Eating fatty, cold water fish can lower triglycerides and cholesterol, and reduce inflammation in the body, but it depends on your cooking method. Grilling, steaming and broiling are the best cooking methods for cooking to gain the most health benefits, and eating at least two 3-4 ounce servings a week is recommended.

Although many people steer clear of fish due to the chances of mercury, polycholorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other toxins, fatty, cold water fish contain less than most fish. Many experts say that the key is to stay away from fish such as tilefish, swordfish, shark, king mackerel and other large fish that contain the most toxins. They also suggest that fish is rotated in the diet; for example, do not always eat tuna or salmon, but get a wide variety of healthy fish in your diet. Locally caught fish is always the best choice.

For those who do not like fish or are vegetarians, but want the same health benefits, omega-3 fatty acids can be found in flaxseed oil, walnuts, omega-3 enriched eggs and canola oil. Fish oil supplements can also be taken.

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