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'Eating fish twice a week may keep your heart healthy'

17 May 2018

But concerns have risen over the contamination of fish which may contain traces of mercury, which can be toxic to human beings.

Eating fish, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, twice a week may help reduce the risk of heart failure, cardiac arrest and stroke, according to a scientific advisory by the American Heart Association.

The American Heart Association recommends eating two 3.5 ounce servings of non-fried fish every week, and oily fish like tuna and salmon are especially good choices because they are high in omega-3 fatty acids.

“If you have a not-so-healthy diet and dont eat seafood, you could have a big impact on heart-healthiness by substituting fish for a higher-fat animal product like bacon or sausage or salami, ” said Jo Ann Carson, a dietitian and professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Industrial activity is responsible for increasing levels of airborne mercury, which can eventually end up in natural water bodies.

Carson, who was not involved in the writing the report, said the advisorys conclusions suggest that vegetarians – people who eat no meat or fish – might consider becoming pescatarians, people who eat fish but not meat.

For this new advisory, nutrition experts also reviewed studies about mercury, which is found in most seafood, is more prevalent in larger fish like shark, swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, bigeye tuna, and others, and can cause serious neurological problems in infants.

But some of those recommendations are at odds with the Food and Drug Administration's guidelines for women of childbearing age and children. It was attributed to the lack of scientific evidence regarding the effects of supplements on cardiovascular risk.

The importance of environmentally sustainable fish farming techniques and other topics are also briefly discussed in the advisory. "This advice clearly shows the great diversity of fish in the USA market that they can consume safely", said Dr. Stephen Ostroff, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine.

'Eating fish twice a week may keep your heart healthy'