low in calories, high in protein, and packed with vitamins and minerals,
but these aren’t the only reasons why fish may be the ultimate health food.
The oils in fish, omega-3 fatty acids, hold promise in the battle against heart
disease. Omega-3 fats may also help in the treatment or prevention of
rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches, high blood pressure, kidney
disease and breast cancer.
name sounds like a space age wonder, but omega-3 fats are just a type of unsaturated
fat found almost exclusively in marine animals and plant life. Medical
researchers think that fish oils can help fight heart disease by lowering levels
of blood cholesterol and triglycerides (fats), and by making cells less
“sticky” and therefore less apt to form clots.
Water Fish Are the Best Source
While all fish and shellfish contain omega-3 fats, cold-water fish are the best
sources. To preserve the healthful benefits of seafood, opt for grilling, baking
or broiling instead of frying. Adding large amounts of oil or margarine to fish
can reduce the potency of omega-3 while increasing the calories. Since it’s
uncertain how much omega-3 is needed for optimal health, health experts suggest
skipping the fish oil pills and including seafood meals at least once a week.
- Cod, flounder and haddock have the least omega-3 fats since they are so
lean, but they’re still a healthful addition to any diet.
- Turbot, bluefish, striped bass, shark, swordfish, rainbow trout, oysters,
lobster, shrimp, mussels and squid contain moderate amounts of omega-3s.
- Anchovies, herring, mackerel, salmon, sturgeon, sardines and tuna are
highest in omega-3 fats. Even canned tuna, especially albacore tuna, is a
good source of omega-3 fats.