We cut down on red meat to reduce the amount of bad fats in our system. Instead, we dive into eating fish to stay healthy longer. Well, it turns out that’s not a totally safe harbor, either.
Eating fish and seafood with higher levels of mercury may be linked to a higher risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), according to a preliminary study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 69th Annual Meeting in Boston, April 22 to 28, 2017. However, fish and seafood consumption as a regular part of the diet was not associated with ALS.
“For most people, eating fish is part of a healthy diet,” said study author Elijah Stommel, MD, PhD, of Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. “But questions remain about the possible impact of mercury in fish.” ‘ Continue reading
Possibly one of the oldest and most widespread cooking cliches is the fish are brain food. I can still hear my mother telling me to eat my fish “it’s good for your brain.” Well, guess what. It’s true.
WebMD says, “Fish really is brain food. A protein source associated with a great brain boost is fish — rich in omega 3 fatty acids, essential for brain function and development. These healthy fats have amazing brain power: higher dietary omega 3 fatty acids are linked to lower dementia and stroke risks; slower mental decline; and may play a vital role in enhancing memory, especially as we get older.
“For brain and heart health, eat two servings of fish weekly.”
As a senior citizen and one who has dementia in his family, I was especially gratified to learn this.
In addition to eating fish, remember that cardiovascular exercise also benefits the brain directly because it sends oxygen molecules to the brain and creates new neurotransmitters.
Please check out Important Facts About Your Brain (and Exercise) for lots more on this most important organ in your body.
With Lent in full swing, Wendy’s has brought back their special hand made fish sandwich. It weighs 3.4 ounces which is pretty big, by my reckoning it comes in bigger than McDonald’s fish sammy. The Wendy’s offering is also hand-cut 100 percent North Pacific Cod and covered with a panko crumb coating.
You can almost feel the chill North Pacific wind
Here is the nutritional breakdown according to Caloriecount:
Total fat 24 grams
Sat fat 4.0 grams
Cholesterol 50 mg
Sodium 980 mg
Carbohydrates 50 grams
Fiber 2 grams
Protein 17 grams
This is definitely a larger offering than McDonald’s which comes in with a total of 380 calories. You can read my full write up of the Filet-o-Fish here.
Regarding the Wendy’s offering, that’s a lot of fat for a fish sandwich. More importantly I have a problem with the 980 mg of Sodium. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) say we shouldn’t consume more than 1500 mg in a day and this is 2/3 of that in one meal without a soft drink or fries being considered.
As far as taste goes, you will have to decide that for yourself. I don’t expect to be throwing my line in for one of these any time soon. I have a problem with that much fat and salt in a fish sammy, though.
I eat healthy and read lots of articles on healthy eating. I also take supplements to ‘fill the blanks’ on any nutrients I might be missing. So when WebMD offered a quiz on Fish Oil and Omega 3s, I considered it right up my alley. I actually take a Krill Oil supplement to augment my Omega 3s.
You can take WebMD’s quiz here. Despite my general reading and actions, I scored only four out of 10 correct.
I wish you luck. Here is the first question: Taking fish oil supplements is as good for you as eating fish. True or False?
Spoiler alert! The answer is “False. Fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel, and fish oil capsules all have heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
“But adding fish to your diet carries healthy bonuses that you won’t get from a supplement: calcium and vitamins B2 and D. It’s also an excellent source of protein.
“So try to eat fish more often. Have it two times a week instead of meat.
“If you have heart problems, though, you may need to boost your omega-3s with a supplement. Talk to your doctor.”
I wanted to share this first answer with you because it demonstrates a wider point, namely, it is usually better to get your nutrients from whole foods rather than pills. Maybe that’s why the pills are called ‘supplements’ because they are meant to supplement our needs not fulfill them.
I hope you did better than I did on the test. If not, at least you, like me, got a mini education in fish oil and omega 3 facts. It’s all good.
Although this blog has over 3500 posts, I wrote about the difficulty of eating out in my very first one About Me. Now comes Harvard Healthbeat with 7 Tips for Heart-Healthy Eating Away From Home.
The report offered some excellent suggestions.
“Curb portions. For two people, consider ordering one salad, one appetizer, and one entrée — that will nearly always provide enough food for both of you. When ordering individual meals, set aside some of what is on your plate to bring home for lunch or another dinner.”
You host may offer a sumptuous spread, but you have control over how much you choose to put on your plate.
Portion size is critical.
” Resist refined carbohydrates. Just as you would at home, go for whole grains and limit white bread, white rice, and other highly processed starches. If the breadbasket is hard to resist, ask your waitperson to remove it from the table.”
This isn’t rocket science, just logic.
A diet lacking in omega-3 fatty acids, nutrients commonly found in fish, may cause your brain to age faster and lose some of its memory and thinking abilities, according to a study published in the print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
“People with lower blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids had lower brain volumes that were equivalent to about two years of structural brain aging,” said study author Zaldy S. Tan, MD, MPH, of the Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and the Division of Geriatrics, University of California at Los Angeles.
For the study, 1,575 people with an average age of 67 and free of dementia underwent MRI brain scans. They were also given tests that measured mental function, body mass and the omega-3 fatty acid levels in their red blood cells.
SelfNutrition Data lists the following foods as high in Omega-3 fatty acids: In order of importance: based on 200 calorie serving:
Flaxseed oil is the highest with 12,059 mg.
Flax seeds have 8,543 mg.￼
Fish oil, salmon contains 7828 mg.
Chia seeds yields 7164 mg.
Agutuk, fish with shortening has 6851 mg.
Filed under brain, fish, memory