How to Select Heart Healthy Fish

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN | Jun 22nd 2017 Jun 27th 2017

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Heart Healthy Omega 3’s

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Omega-3 fatty acids lower triglycerides, promote normal blood pressure, decrease blood clot risk, and reduce stroke and heart disease risk.

The omega 3’s docosaheaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) not only reduce heart disease risk, but improve brain function and memory.

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How much fish to reap the benefit?

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Include 3.5 ounces of fish in your diet TWICE A WEEK to boost your intake of heart healthy omega 3’s.

Fatty, longer living fish tend to have higher omega 3 levels.

*Be aware larger fish, such as swordfish, are at greater risk for toxins like mercury.

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Salmon

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Wild salmon, usually from Alaska, is a great choice.

Avoid farmed salmon. A 3.5 ounce serving of wild salmon contains over 1500 milligrams of omega 3’s.

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Tuna

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Best tuna choices include albacore (i.e. white) tuna and skipjack (i.e. light) tuna.

Avoid bluefin tuna. A 3.5 ounce serving of canned albacore tuna contains 500 to 1000 milligrams of omega 3’s per serving.

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Trout

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Purchase trout farmed in the U.S. in closed tanks or from Lake Superior’s Minnesota waters. Avoid trout from Lake Superior’s Wisconsin waters.

A 3.5 ounce serving of trout contains 500 to 1000 milligrams of omega 3’s per serving.

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Barramundi

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Look for yellow barramundi (i.e. perch) caught in the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay. Avoid perch caught in Canada’s Lake Manitoba or giant perch from Eastern Indonesia.

A 3.5 ounce serving of barramundi contains 200-500 milligrams of omega 3’s per serving.

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Mahi Mahi

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Select mahi mahi (i.e. dolphinfish) caught in U.S. Atlantic waters.

A 3.5 ounce serving of mahi mahi contains less than 200 milligrams of omega 3’s per serving.

*Most U.S. mahi mahi is imported and should be avoided.

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Cod

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Best option is to buy Pacific cod from Alaskan waters. Avoid Atlantic cod.

A 3.5 ounce serving of cod contains less than 200 milligrams of omega 3’s per serving.

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How to Prepare Fish

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Healthy preparation methods for fish include:

  • Grill
  • Poach
  • Steam
  • Broil
  • Bake

*Avoid drying out fish by cooking it quickly over high heat. The safe minimum internal temperature when cooking fish is 145° F.

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Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch

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Utilize the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch websites for more details on best choices, safe alternatives, and fish to avoid.