Healthpointe Medical Southern California

Eat Fish, Gain a Healthier Heart

Mothers were right all along – fish is good for the brain and the body. Cardiologists, among other healthcare experts, agree that eating sufficient amounts of fish is good for heart health particularly in the reduction of risks for cardiovascular diseases (e.g., heart attacks, heart failure, and strokes).

Healthy Kind of Fat

The reason behind the health benefits of fish: Essential fatty acids (EFAs) specifically omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which play crucial roles in various health issues including rheumatoid arthritis, depression, and fetal development, among others.

Due to their extensive heart-related benefits, EFAs are gaining the attention of consumers and doctors alike. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease the risk for arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats), a condition that can result in sudden death, as well as in decreasing triglyceride levels, lowering blood pressure, and slowing down the growth of atherosclerotic plaque, among others.

Indeed, the fat found in fish offers several health benefits, so follow your mother’s or your doctor’s advice and eat more fish and less meat.

Healthy Amounts of Fish

So, how much fish should you be eating? Too little and you may not be able to enjoy the benefits of its EFAs; too much and you may suffer from toxic effects.

According to the American Heart Association, adults should have at least two servings of fish per week. Keep in mind that each serving equals 3.5 ounces of cooked fish or 3/4 cup of flaked fish with fatty fish, such as salmon, herring, mackerel, lake trout, sardines, and albacore tuna, on top of the list; these fatty fish, contain high content of omega-3 fatty acids.

According to the American Heart Association, adults should have at least two servings of fish per week. Keep in mind that each serving equals 3.5 ounces of cooked fish or 3/4 cup of flaked fish with fatty fish, such as salmon, herring, mackerel, lake trout, sardines, and albacore tuna, on top of the list; these fatty fish, contain high content of omega-3 fatty acids.

Always consult your cardiologist when taking more than 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids from nutritional supplements. Excessively high doses can result in excessive bleeding in susceptible people.

Because a few types of fatty fish may contain high levels of possible toxins, such as mercury, dioxins, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), among others, the above mentioned recommendation for servings of fish per week should be followed. These have adverse health effects, therefore, over-consumption of fish is also not recommended.

To gain a healthier heart from eating fish, keep these tips in mind:

  • Eat a wide variety of fish to minimize your exposure to the environmental pollutants.
  • Eat fish low in mercury, such as canned tuna, pollock, salmon, and catfish. Avoid shark, king mackerel, swordfish, and tilefish because these have high mercury levels.
  • Bake or grill the fish to preserve its flavors and to lessen its oil content; avoid frying.
  • Choose low-fat, low-sodium seasonings, such as herbs, spices, and lemon juice, to lessen the fat and sodium content of the fish.

Eat fish in a wide variety of styles so that you may enjoy eating it as many times as recommended.


About Healthpointe:

Healthpointe is a leading multidisciplinary healthcare organization offering a full range of medical services in practice locations throughout Southern California (Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, and Riverside County). Healthpointe has locations situated in over 10 cities in Southern California including Long Beach, which is conveniently located near Signal Hill, Carson, Seal Beach, Lakewood, Bellflower, Compton, Hawaiian Gardens, and Los Alamitos. As a highly regarded musculoskeletal group, we have a personal investment in the highest level of service, and we are proud of our record of excellence over the last four decades with private patients, injured workers, urgent care, personal injuries, and professional and non-professional athletes. Leading our organization is a dynamic team of healthcare professionals who continually strive to be at the forefront of medical innovation and healthcare service delivery. For more information, a complete list of services, and Healthpointe locations, visit www.Healthpointe.net

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