Tiny Fish, Big Ben­e­fits

Health & Nutrition - - NUTRITION UPDATE -

SALINE SO­LU­TION Salt­wa­ter fish may be health­ier for you than the fresh­wa­ter kind. Cana­dian re­searchers an­a­lyzed the di­ets of peo­ple liv­ing in a lakeside fish­ing com­mu­nity and then mea­sured their blood lev­els of two key omega-3 fatty acids: eicos­apen­taenoic acid (EPA) and do­cosa­hex­aenoic acid (DHA), both of which ben­e­fit your heart and brain. Sur­pris­ingly, they found that those who ate the most fish had sim­i­lar lev­els of EPA and DHA to those who ate the least – a find­ing that’s con­trary to study re­sults from sea­side lo­cales. Why? Re­search in­di­cates that your body could process EPA and DHA from fresh­wa­ter fish dif­fer­ently than that from salt­wa­ter species. The seafood with the most omega-3 fats: mack­erel and sar­dines. Sar­dines are also rich in cal­cium (in the bones) and a nat­u­ral source of vi­ta­min D. They’re a good eco­log­i­cal choice too, since sar­dine pop­u­la­tions are abun­dant in most parts of the world – and con­tam­i­nants are much less of a con­cern than with most other fatty fish. When buy­ing canned sar­dines, com­pare nu­tri­tion la­bels. De­pend­ing on the type of sar­dine, where they come from, and what they are packed in (wa­ter, oil, or sauces), they can vary a lot in calo­ries (90 to 275), fat (5 to 15 grams), and sodium (200 to 400 mil­ligrams) per 85gram serv­ing. If you’re con­cerned about bisphe­nol-A (BPA) leach­ing from the lin­ing of cans, more com­pa­nies are now us­ing BPAfree cans – check the la­bels. BPA, used to pre­vent cor­ro­sion, af­fects hor­mone func­tion and has been linked to heart dis­ease, di­a­betes, and other ad­verse ef­fects. You can also get fresh sar­dines in many fish mar­kets.

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