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Prevention, Wellness

Fish in Your Diet for a Healthy Lifestyle

Published on February 15, 2023 by Dr. Myra Reed

Nothing Fish-y About It

As part of a whole-foods diet, eat fish to help contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Fish contains vitamins A, D, and B12 and minerals such as potassium, selenium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Moreover, selenium is also an antioxidant that supports blood vessel health. It may prevent coronary artery disease, supports thyroid health, and may lower your risk of getting some cancers. Not only is fish a high-quality source of vitamins and minerals, it is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s are anti-inflammatory, help protect the cardiovascular system against oxidative damage, and are essential to health as the human body can’t make these fats itself. A small study even compared fish oil supplements to fresh fish and found the group eating fresh fish had more benefit.

How to Add More Fish to Your Diet

There are a few ways to get fish into your diet to promote a more healthy lifestyle. If you have the time to cook, add in fresh oily fish at least twice a week. The omega-3 content of fish also helps improve cholesterol and lower the risk of heart attacks. Many types of fish can contain omega-3s and other nutrients, but oily fish contain the most. Oily fish includes herring (bloater, kipper, and hilsa are types of herring), pilchards, salmon, sardines, sprats, trout, and mackerel. It’s important to buy your fish from trusted sources and to refrigerate, freeze, or cook the fish as soon as possible to preserve nutrients.

Here’s more information on how to choose the safest, most nutritious fish option for your diet: https://doh.wa.gov/community-and-environment/food/fish/healthy-fish-guide 

What if I don’t Like Fish?

Since eating fresh fish isn’t for everyone, fish oil supplements, which are generally more concentrated sources of omega-3s, are a good option. These come in liquid or capsule form. Make sure your supplement is molecularly distilled as this will help ensure you are avoiding excess heavy metal exposure such as mercury. Side effects can include “fish burps” but our higher quality supplements rarely cause this problem. As fish oil is a fat, it is best consumed with food. 2-4 grams of fish oil a day is normal, but checking your levels in your lab work is a good way of monitoring your needs.

Contact Dr. Myra Reed for developing lifestyle changes to help reduce your cardiac risks.

Food for Thought. . .

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein


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