Nutritionists have advised people to eat
less fat, especially the fats in meats, to reduce the risk of heart
disease and certain types of cancer. But there is one fat that is a
healthy exception-the fat in fish. Evidence has shown a strong
connection between a diet rich in fish oils and reduced incidence of
heart disease and cancer among people. Eating oily fish daily,
especially those from deep cold waters, such as salmon, herring, tuna,
mackerel and trout, has been shown to raise HDL (good) cholesterol
levels, increase blood viscosity and reduce platelet stickiness. Fish
oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which research has shown, help
block the production of potentially harmful chemicals in the body,
reduce the risk of heart disease, help fight colon and breast cancers
and even reduce lung inflammation.
The omega-3 in fish appears to reduce
the body's production of prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and thromboxane,
which may cause blood vessels to constrict and increase blood pressure
and promote clotting in the bloodstream, which can result in heart
disease. In addition the oil in fish seems to keep the heart beating
in a healthy rhythm.
Eating fish protects against cancer just
as it helps to prevent heart disease. It does this by reducing the
body's production of prostaglandins, which in large amounts, encourage
the growth of tumors.
Researchers have also found that eating
fish may improve breathing difficulties caused by smoking. Smokers
sometimes have a condition known as chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease which result in difficulty to move oxygen in and out of the
lungs. There is some evidence to indicate that eating fish may help to
prevent this from happening.
Although all fish provide some omega-3,
salmon is considered to be the best source. For variety other good
sources are mackerel, trout, tuna and herring. For convenience, the
easiest way to get omega-3 into your diet is to pick up a tin of