The New Low-Cholesterol Diet: Fatty Fish
The right fish can do wonders for your heart.
Any health benefits from fish are cancelled out if you deep-fry them in a vat of vegetable oil.
The reliable tuna sandwich can be a healthy choice. ADA spokeswoman Ruth Frechman, RD, recommends tuna with low-fat mayo or pickle relish on whole grain bread.
You can also get a very quick and tasty meal by microwaving salmon and other fish. It only takes a few minutes. One big advantage is that you don't dry out the fish, which is easy to do using more conventional methods.
How Much Fish Do You Need?
Current recommendations are to eat two servings of fish a week, says ADA spokeswoman Suzanne Farrell, MS, RD. "The important thing is to find fish that you really like," she says. The American Heart Association recommends that people get at least two serving a week. If you have heart disease, they recommend eating one gram of EPA or DHA daily, preferable from fish.
What if you just can't stand fish?
"If I meet people who don't like fish, I don't think it's a good idea to force them to eat it," Farrell tells WebMD. "Luckily, there are some other ways to get omega-3 fatty acids." She recommends walnuts, flaxseed, canola oil, and omega-3 enriched eggs.
Remember, fatty fish is still fatty. While the omega-3 fatty acids have lots of benefits, they're also high in calories. You'll gain weight if you overeat these fish. Most Americans, however, don't even eat the recommended 8 ounces a week.
Also, eating too much of some types of fish can carry other risks. You may have heard about mercury in some sea fish, like tuna. Other fish like salmon can contain toxins like PCBs. These risks may be especially worrisome to small children or women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.