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Shereen Jegtvig, MS

Fish and a Healthy Heart

By February 1, 2013

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The American Heart Association suggests eating fish at least twice each week in place of red meat. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, but is still low in total fat. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and may reduce inflammation. Replacing red meat with fish may be double good - you'll get more omega-3's and reduce your saturated fat intake at the same time. While a little bit of saturate fat may be okay, eating large amounts is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

So does it matter how you cook your fish? It might. Prepare your fish in a healthy manner - baked, poached or sautéed is best. Skip the battered and deep fried fish that are high in fat and calories. Our Guide to Low Fat Cooking has some healthy recipes for fish.

The type of fish matters too. Oily ocean fish, like salmon, has the most omega-3 fat. If you prefer white fish, choose trout. Of course, you also want to avoid the fish that are contaminated with mercury. The worst offenders are marlin, orange roughy, tilefish, swordfish, shark, and king mackerel. Anchovies, butterfish, catfish, flounder, haddock, perch, trout and tilapia have the least amount of mercury.

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