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Baked Fish Beats Fried for Omega-3 Boost

Study Shows Baked Fish Is Better for Heart Health Than Fried, Salted, or Dried

Omega-3s Cut Heart Risk continued...

The study involved 82,243 men and 103,884 women, ages 45 to 75, in Los Angeles and Hawaii. The participants represented five major ethnic groups: African Americans, whites, Hispanics, Japanese-Americans, and native Hawaiians. None suffered from heart disease at the start of the study.

Over the next 10 years, 2,604 of the men and 1,912 of the women died from heart disease.

When the men on the study were divided into five groups depending on their omega-3 intake, those in the highest group consumed an average of about 3.3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids daily. Men in the lowest group consumed about 0.8 grams a day.

Men in the highest group of omega-3 intake had a 23% lower risk of dying due to heart disease than those in the lowest group, the study showed.

Men of white, Japanese, and Hispanic descent appeared to get more benefits from omega-3s than African-American or Hawaiian men, possibly because of how they cook the fish or genetic predisposition, Meng says.

In women, the link between omega-3 fatty acid intake and heart disease wasn't as strong, she says.

Baked Fish vs. Fried Fish

The researchers did not directly compare boiled or baked fish to fried fish. But when the men were divided into three groups depending on how often they baked or boiled their fish, those in the top third were 10% less likely to die from heart disease than those in the lowest third.

Also, men and women who ate the most fried fish were 12% more likely to die from heart disease than those who ate the least fried fish.

Both men and women who ate the most salted or dried fish were 15% more likely to die from heart disease than those who ate the least.

The study also showed that low-sodium soy sauce and tofu protected women against death from heart disease. "Omega-3 fatty acids from plant sources may do more to improve women's heart health than those from fish sources," Meng says.

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