Top 4 Reasons To Eat Fish

By / Magazine / August 24th, 2009 / 1

It turns out that eating oily fish is vital to your good health. A new study from researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found Omega-3 deficient diets cause up to 96,000 preventable deaths annually in the United States. Of the 12 dietary, lifestyle and metabolic risk factors examined in the study, Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency ranked as the sixth highest killer. Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency even beat out high trans fat intake.

“The numbers are shocking, especially given that these deaths are preventable with Omega-3 EPA/DHA supplementation,” said Ocean Nutrition Canada’s Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Lori Covert. “We know that daily doses of Omega-3 EPA/DHA can help with many conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, and we’re committed to increasing consumer awareness about the drastic Omega-3 EPA/DHA deficiency in the Western diet. However, this new study validates that Omega-3 EPA/DHA is more than just part of a healthy diet … it’s a matter of life and death.”

With healthcare costs skyrocketing, a study such as this one can help governments develop and implement public health policies and legislation to help reduce exposure and to prevent death from certain risk factors. It also gives you, the consumer, the power to change your buying habits and put pressure on manufacturers to produce healthier products.

Most of us have heard about omega-3, but exactly what it is and where one gets it is still somewhat unclear. Here’s what you need to know:

4. Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid (EFA), consisting of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid).

3. Oily fish (such as sardines, anchovies, mackerel, and salmon) are the only known natural sources of Omega-3 EPA/DHA.

2. ALA is found in plants, such as flax and chia, but only EPA and DHA contribute to the many health benefits associated with Omega-3. Our bodies can convert ALA into EPA/DHA, bit it does so very inefficiently (less than one percent), making it impossible to derive Omega-3-related health benefits from plant-sourced ALA.

1. Although Omega-3 EPA/DHA is vital to overall good health, the human body is not able to produce it on its own, so supplementation is required, either by eating oily fish or foods fortified with Omega-3 EPA/DHA, or by taking fish oil supplements.

 

 

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