The 2014 report from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, titled 'Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Dietary Fatty Acids for Healthy Adults' is rich with analysis. This post aims to distill it down to one particular subject: fish.
In reviewing evidence-based dietary guidelines around getting enough health-supporting fats and avoiding unhealthy fats, we came across some very compelling information that encourages regular consumption of fatty fish. Read the long report, or see our summary below to understand why you might want to consider eating more fish. We will also talk about resources for sourcing safe/clean fish, sustainable choices, and seasonally appropriate fish selection.
Some of the highlights from the report are listed below:
"According to a 2011 meta-analysis, observational and randomized clinical trial evidence suggests that fish or fish oil consumption can also reduce inflammation, improve endothelial function, normalize heart rate variability, improve myocardial relaxation and efficiency, and, at higher doses, limit platelet aggregation." ... "In addition to providing long-chain n-3s, fish provides lean protein, vitamins, and minerals." ... "Although fish oil supplements have been shown to be equally effective as fish at increasing tissue levels of EPA and DHA, it is unclear whether benefits observed in those with habitual fish consumption can be fully reproduced with refined fish oil supplements. Clinical research has shown that supplementing with refined fish oil can help reduce triglycerides and improve blood pressure and heart rate levels." ... "An association between fish consumption and incidence of major depression was first reported in 1998. Since then, a link between low levels of longchain n-3 fatty acids and depression has been observed in a number of trials. The recommendation by the American Psychiatric Association to consume fatty fish at least twice a week reflects these findings."
So now you know more of why you should enjoy good fish but you need some resources to help you select good fish:
Utilize Seafood Watch's buyer's guide or download their app to help you in picking fish that is low in mercury and has plenty of omega-3's:
- Download their app for easy access to tools while shopping
To further make sustainable fish-buying choices, using the United Kingdom's Marine Conservation Society's fish seasonality guide can help you reduce humanity's impact on the oceans. Download the guide here and print it for your refrigerator.
The UK Marine Conservation Society also has an extensive online database rating the sustainability of hundreds of types of fish. If you are a more serious fisherman/woman, a chef, or live around the world, try their extensive guide for sustainable fish.
Hopefully this guide brings you happier, healthier mealtimes and a lifetime of learning, adapting, and feeling good.
References: Vannice, G., & Rasmussen, H. (2014). Position of the academy of nutrition and dietetics: dietary fatty acids for healthy adults. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 114(1), 136-153.
Seafood Watch - Official Site of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Sustainable Seafood Program. (n.d.). Retrieved June 18, 2018, from http://www.seafoodwatch.org/
Home | Marine Conservation Society. (n.d.). Retrieved June 18, 2018, from https://www.mcsuk.org/