Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. Fortunately, many risk factors are things we have control over – such as our food and lifestyle choices. Making nutritious food choices and working in physical activity throughout the day are two excellent ways to help keep your family’s heart beating strong.
Did you know that eating seafood twice a week could help to improve your omega-3 levels and reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease? Just a simple shift in your eating pattern can put you on a positive path to improve your heart health.
Seafood is a very important part of a healthy diet. Fish and shellfish are the major sources of healthful omega-3 fats and are also rich in nutrients such as vitamin D and selenium, high in protein, and low in saturated fat. There is strong evidence that eating fish or taking fish oil is good for the heart and blood vessels.
The American Heart Association recommends eating two 3.5-ounce servings of non-fried fish every week “to reduce the risk of congestive heart failure, coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke, and sudden cardiac death, especially when seafood replaces the intake of less healthy foods.”
The omega-3 fats in fish protect the heart against the development of erratic and potentially deadly cardiac rhythm disturbances. They also lower blood pressure and heart rate, improve blood vessel function, and, at higher doses, lower triglycerides and may ease inflammation.
The strong and consistent evidence for benefits is such that the American Heart Association, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and World Health Organization recommend eating seafood at least twice a week, aiming to take in an average of 250-500 mg daily of omega-3s EPA and DHA. Higher intakes of 1 gram and above are supported for a range of cardiovascular benefits.
Heart disease is 80-90% preventable with proper diet, exercise and lifestyle modifications. Eating approximately one to two servings of fatty fish a week reduces the risk of dying from heart disease by 30-50%.