Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Pass the fish

One of the questions I got today during my talk had to do with seafood. I was mentioning omega-3 fatty acids and that they can have a beneficial effect on a person's cholesterol. "I thought that fish was bad for you," someone asked me, and they heard that there were a lot of contaminants in seafood. The Institute of Medicine, in a new report, tries to clarify the confusion (CNN).
"The benefits of cardiovascular health from eating seafood, including farm fish, far outweigh the risk of cancer from environmental contaminants," said Dr. William Hogarth of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the group that commissioned the report.
The environmental contaminants they're talking about include mercury, dioxins, and PCBs. The study found that the levels of these substances were so low in seafood, that there is no danger in consuming it, even a potential cardiac benefit.
The committee members say they aren't sure why fish reduces the risk of heart disease. It could be a direct effect of the omega-3s, or it could simply be that it is lower in saturated fats than other meats, and by adding more fish to the diet, individuals are eating less of the fattier meats.
I do not live close to the ocean. So, one of the many things I look forward to is having fresh seafood when on vacation. Finally, a news story about food that has nothing to do with spinach, ecoli, carrot juice, botulism, recalls, or any of that bad stuff. Order up some broiled salmon and veggies for me tonight. Yum!


Sarebear said...

Except for pregnant people. Since developing babies are very sensitive to tiny amounts of stuff.

Other than that, I am SO glad you posted this. With my anxiety disorder, I was really worried that I shouldn't have fish and stuff.

I'm still going to avoid swordfish, because, from reports I've seen, roughly half the samples they tested from a variety of stores, were contaminated in ways not so good for a person. Then again, maybe they were being alarmist. But swordfish is supposedly the worst offender.

ANYWAY! I love sole food. Salmon Ella is a dish that I made up for the fun title, even though I know how horrible it's namesake feels. I like to be funny.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like your talk went good...You do alot of these don't ya? Is this older people who you do these talks for? You maybe told us, and I either forgot, or maybe missed that post.

The Monitor said...

The Japanese, and other Asians, are living proof that fish is good for you. They live longer, have less cardiovascular disease and lower cholesterol than most of us in the West who dine on growth-hormone injected beef products. This is actually news?

Ride On!

Anonymous said...

I have found that frozen fish at Costco is a nice compromise for my family. I don't have tow rooy about it being bad or going bad before use.

Anonymous said...

yes please pass the fish. I am such a big fish fan. thanks doc for praising the fin and gill.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dr. A.,

make that wild-caught Alaska salmon?

There are a lot of environmental issues with both wild-caught and farmed fish and shellfish. Sometimes one or the other is better for the environment (= better for our health and the health of future generations).

There are handy seafood wallet cards that can help you make good choices -- just Google "sustainable seafood". Audubon Society and various aquariums offer lots more information too.

Sorry, can't add links but two good ones (for cut and paste) are:



Lea said...

When you sit down and think about the comparison of fresh, flaky fish and a greasy cheese burger...how hard is the decision? Don't get me wrong, I love a cheeseburger and fries any time, but I know that fish is better for us all!

By the way, as Sarebear said, avoid Swordfish. It is a protected species, so please don't order it. Pretend it is full of toxins and pass the word!

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness that we can still eat fish! Around here, salmon rules!

Sarebear said...

Thanks laundress, and lea!


vegans rule