How Does Fish Oil Affect Cholesterol?


For many of us, summer time is the time of year when you get to eat a lot of fresh fish. Of course, many of us may have heard the notion that you can reduce cholesterol risk by eating fish. This notion is certainly correct because clinical trials have proved the advantages of fish oil in reducing the incidence of heart disease and lower cholesterol. Substituting fish for meat as a source of protein and other nutrients is the best dietary changes you can make for your family.


How Does Fish Help in Reducing Cholesterol Problems?

Fish contains good quality of Omega 3 fatty acids. These omega-3 fatty acids are a combination of polyunsaturated fatty acids that include DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). They cannot be made by the human body.

Research by Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests that Fish oil has been found to decrease certain blood fats called triglycerides, raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol and thin the blood a bit. Because of their blood thinning effect, they do not promote atherosclerosis associated with causing heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish at least two times a week.

Does Any Fish Help Fight Cholesterol?

Experts suggest Fatty Fish instead of normal one because they have fish oil throughout their body rather than just being in the liver. These fatty fish include:

  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Tuna
  • Trout
  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • shrimp
  • clams

Is There Any Other Benefit from Fish?

There are various other benefits of eating Fish:

  • Omega 3 acids also naturally control inflammations thus reducing joint pain and morning stiffness. They are recommended for people suffering with rheumatoidarthritis.
  • Fish is a good source ofcalcium which helps improve bone strength. It is highly recommended for people suffering with osteoporosis.
  • Taking fish oil daily helps to slow the progress of colon cancer in people with early stages.
  • Oily fish is a good source of importantminerals such as iodine, selenium, calcium, zinc, phosphorous and magnesium.

How Much Fish Do I Need to Eat?

Although the health benefits are immense, there is still a limit to how much fish you can eat in a week. It is advised to eat one portion of oily fish a week; one portion being the equivalent to 140 g or 5 oz. However, pregnant women should completely avoid swordfish, shark and marlin due to the possible health risks.

How Should I Cook Fish for Maximum Benefit?

Because oily fish contain a certain amount of fat in their flesh, it is advised to use very little oil when cooking. You should prefer methods such as grilling, baking, steaming and pan-frying. Stay clear from methods such as shallow frying and deep-fat frying.

Any Precautions When Eating Fish?

Here are a few precautions that you need to know about:

  • Because of excessive sea pollution, certain pollutants accumulate in oily fish, such as PCBs and methyl mercury. Hence, it is advised to buy fresh fish from a trusted source.
  • Because of their blood thinning properties, omega-3 fatty acids should be used cautiously by people who bruise easily.
  • Buy fish oil from a reputable source to make sure there is no mercury or pesticide residues in its products.

Do I Need Supplementation?

For people who don’t like eating fish, they can speak to their doctor about introducing fish oil supplements in their diet. While fish oil is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, it doesn’t replace the real fish which has other nutrients such as calcium, protein, iodine etc.

Fatty Fish is a natural treatment for cholesterol. Adding it to your diet will help you maintain a healthy heart and keep your cholesterol levels balanced.

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