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Five Facts About Fish That Might Surprise You!
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According to McGuire, "moms want to wade through the fish fiction and get the hard facts."

1. You Cannot Eat "Too Much" Seafood

"For the general population there are no types of commercial or store-bought seafood to limit or avoid," says McGuire. According to the FDA, the dietary goal is to eat a variety of seafood 2-3 times a week, and is rarely met. On average, American women eat less than three ounces of seafood a week, compared to the recommended 8-12 ounces. McGuire continues, "Most women should not only double, but should triple or quadruple the amount of fish they eat to meet the recommendation."

2. Dietary Supplements Only Provide Partial Health Benefits

According to the McGuire, fish oil supplements are not an equal substitute to eating fish as a whole food. "A variety of seafood will give your body omega-3s, lean protein, vitamins including B and D, iron, calcium, and more" says McGuire, "whereas a fish-oil pill stops at omega-3s." Supplements are not a complete trade-off. Oily fish like tuna, salmon, mackerel and sardines are some of the top omega-3 sources.

3. Developing Babies Need Nutrients Found in Fish

The 2004 FDA recommendation for pregnant women and nursing mothers states, "Fish and shellfish contain high-quality protein and other essential nutrients, are low in saturated fat, and contain omega-3 fatty acids. A well balanced diet that includes a variety of fish can contribute to heart health and children's proper growth and development. So, women and young children in particular should include fish or shellfish in their diets due to the many nutritional benefits…" There are just four rarely eaten fish this target audience should avoid as they aim for 2-3 seafood meals a week: shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish.

4. Marine Foods Are the Only Naturally Rich Food Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The type of omega-3s linked to heart and brain health (DHA and EPA) are only found in marine foods like fish. McGuire notes, "The omega-3s in plant foods like walnuts, canola oil and flaxseed are healthful, but less powerful than the type in seafood. The body has a hard time converting plant-based omega-3s to DHA and EPA, so there isn't really a substitute for seafood."

5. Canned Seafood Counts

Fish in all forms, as long as it is prepared in a healthy way, counts toward the 2-3 servings per week goal. "I eat a lot of canned and pouch tuna, salmon, and sardines along with frozen and fresh fish," says McGuire.

According to McGuire, there is no better time to include seafood in your diet than now. "As women learn more about the health risks of a traditional low-seafood, high meat American diet, they are looking for healthy proteins to prepare. Fish, from fresh filets to convenient canned tuna, is making a making a real resurgence as a smart-eating staple."

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September 23, 2017

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