Understanding the Link Between Seafood and Diabetes Prevention and Care

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States, and that is why November is dedicated to diabetes education and prevention. Nearly 30 million Americans – nearly 10% of the country – have diabetes and rates are on the rise.

People who are at risk for and those who have Type 2 diabetes can significantly lower their risk and side effects by making healthy changes. By trying to make small, incremental improvements to your eating habits, you can make a huge impact on your health outcomes. The American Diabetic Association offers recommendations, tips and recipes for balanced meals, including the suggestion to eat (fatty) fish two to three times per week.

The type of fat in seafood, heart-healthy omega-3s, “helps prevent clogging of the arteries,” according to the American Diabetes Association, and has so many other benefits – including reducing inflammation, increasing insulin sensitivity, and even improving your mood (with the release of blissful serotonin) (sources below). Simply, omega-3s can improve effectiveness of insulin and reduce many of your diabetic side effects.

Additionally, this chronic disease, one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., has far more reaching side effects. People with Type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to die from heart attack or stroke (sources below).

This Mustard Baked Mackerel is a great place to start – flavorful, affordable and, most importantly, good for you.

Mustard Baked Mackerel
From SNP Eating Heart Healthy Nutrition Program
Omega-3 Per Serving: 1,500 mg

Serves 4

All you need:

  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound mackerel fillets
  • 2 small zucchini, cut into rounds
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary

All you do:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix mustard, mayonnaise, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Lightly coat sheet pan with one tablespoon of the olive oil. Place fish on pan and lightly spread mustard mixture on fish.
  4. Mix zucchini and rosemary with salt and pepper, and one tablespoon olive oil. Spread zucchini in single layer around fish, or on a separate sheet pan.
  5. Bake mackerel and zucchini in oven for 15 minutes.
  6. Can be served with brown rice or wild rice.

Sources

  • Browning LM, Krebs JD, Moore CS et al. The impact of long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on inflammation, insulin sensitivity and CVD risk in a group of overweight women with an inflammatory phenotype. Diabetes Obes Metab.2007 Jan;9(1):70-80.
  • Spencer M, Finlin BS, Unal R et al. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce adipose tissue macrophages in human subjects with insulin resistance. 2013 May;62(5):1709-17. doi: 10.2337/db12-1042.
  • Gao H, Geng T, Huang T et al. Fish oil supplementation and insulin sensitivity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lipids Health Dis.2017 Jul 3;16(1):131. doi: 10.1186/s12944-017-0528-0.
  • Danaei G, Ding EL, Mozaffarian D, et al. The preventable causes of death in the United States: comparative risk assessment of dietary, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors. PLoS Med. 2009 Apr 28;6(4):e1000058. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000058.

Author: Linda Cornish

I’m Linda Cornish, president of Seafood Nutrition Partnership, the leading 501(c)3 non-profit organization in the U.S. building awareness of the health and nutritional benefits of seafood. It’s our mission to address the country’s public health crisis through education programs that inspire Americans to incorporate more seafood and omega-3s into their diets for improved health.