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Heart Failure Health Center

Which Fish Dishes Help Avoid Heart Failure?

Tuna or Other Broiled or Baked Fish Rich in Omega-3 Fats May Be Best
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Lower Risk Seen With Omega-3 Fats continued...

Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, tuna, and herring. Last September, the FDA decided to allow foods and supplements containing the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish -- DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) -- to bear labels saying that eating the product may help reduce the risk of heart disease.

The U.S. government advises pregnant women and young children to limit eating of some fish due to contaminants such as mercury, says Mozaffarian.

No Benefit Seen From Fried Fish

Fried fish was tied to a higher risk of congestive heart failure. That could be partly due to other unfavorable risk factors seen in people who frequently ate fried fish, the study notes.

The study doesn't sound any alarms about eating fried fish. Doing so would be premature, say the researchers. Still, they say such fish meals aren't likely to cut congestive heart failure risk.

In addition, fried fish is often high in unhealthy fats. And while frying doesn't break down omega-3 fats, it could add unhealthy hydrogenated oils or trans fats, say researchers.

The Final Word?

The findings deserve further study but aren't the final word on fish and congestive heart failure, says Mozaffarian. He works at Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, and Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital.

The study was observational. It didn't assign anyone to eat more fish or change their diets at all. Instead, the results come from food surveys. Those aren't always perfectly accurate. They also don't show dietary changes over time.

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