Boost Heart Health by Eating Fish

Boost Heart Health by Eating Fish

Love eating fish? Here's some good fish news to chew on: Eating 6 ounces of omega-3-rich fish twice weekly reduces your risk of dying from heart disease by a whopping 36 percent. So, go fish (for heart-healthy foods)!

Even if the fish is high in mercury, you won't lose a bit of the age-defying protection against heart disease and stroke. Just remember that not all fish is good for everyone. If there are infants, young children or pregnant moms in your household, you'll want to steer clear of eating fish that’s high in mercury. It can cause brain and kidney disorders.

Heart-healthy foods like fish include ‘reel’ healthy benefits:

  • Go small. When you can't recall what fish are safest, just remember this: Young, pint-sized fish, such as anchovies, herring and sole, have the shortest exposure to mercury in the water. They also eat fewer other fish (each step up the food chain concentrates the mercury), so they're the safest.
  • Lure the fatty fish. Salmon and trout are heart-healthy foods packed with omega-3 fatty acids. Herring, sardines, flounder, haddock, cod and canned light tuna (lower in mercury than white albacore) also deliver a winning combo of high heart-healthy omega-3s and low mercury levels. Need another good reason to eat salmon? Here's one.
  • Get a fruity, nutty fish fix. Mango, pineapple, banana and papaya, reduce the amount of mercury your body absorbs. Sprinkling on walnuts, flaxseeds and canola or olive oil adds an omega-3 boost.
  • Say no to heavy metal. Swordfish, shark, tilefish, king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy and (just added to the list) mahi-mahi are mercury depots. Good news: Red snapper recently came off the list!

Want a healthier smile? Learn how eating fish can help.

Medically reviewed in April 2019.

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