Oil Rich fish, such as salmon, trout, mackerel, herring and sardines are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to a healthy diet. Our body cannot manufacture these oils so it is very important to get them in our diet. Ongoing studies by the USDA are helping uncover new details about how these fish oil components help protect us from chronic diseases.
Benefits of Fish oil include:
1) Reduction of cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks, strokes and High blood pressure
2) Brain development, and nerve and eyesight development
3) some studies have shown fish oil prevents developing tumors and
4) reduces inflammation in those with rheumatoid arthritis
However with all these benefits many question the safety of fish in the diet….so which fish have mercury? Nearly all ocean and even pond raised fish contain traces of mercury as well as other unwanted contaminants. However, bottom dwellers such as halibut, flounder are know to have higher levels than upper dwelling fish.
What about radioactivity such as that from Japan and their nuclear reactor accident? RADIOACTIVE IDODINE –131 Readings near the reactors reache 7.5 million times the legal limit. Some experts fear that the contamination may spread well beyond Japan’s shores. Be careful of seafood originating from Japan and make sure your iodine status is healthy.
Well then what about Farmed Fish? THINK CHICKEN POOP The major problem with farmed fish lies in the fish pellets they feed upon. The USDA allows a % of “chicken manure” to be fed to fish b/c chickens cannot extract all the protein out of their feed that fish can.
Fish farm ponds are over crowded, and antibiotics and fungicides are added to the ponds to control disease. And last but not least FARM RAISED FISH DO NOT CONTAIN ANY OMEGA 3 OILS.
IS IT BETTER TO EAT FROZEN OR FRESH? Ocean fish contain parasites that can survive cooking when freshly caught..so fronzen is better because freezing kills the parasites.
What About Fish Oil Supplements?
A good way to get enough of the healthy Omega 3’s that are high in some fish is to consume a good quality fish oil capsule but all are not create equal.
Shaklee’s OmegaGuard is produced by using a stat-of –the art, proprietary, low-temperature, triple molecular distillation and purification process of fish oils that concentrates natural, beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and help remove harmful contaminants, including heavy metals, such as lead, mercury , arsenic, cadmium, dioxins and PCB’s. This distillation process in unique to Shaklee. Please be aware that many companies do not take the care that Shaklee does in producing their supplements by testing and retesting raw materials. In fact I did a blog post on HealthsAChoice.com about a company in Houston that makes fish oil caps for many major companies and were sued for their contamination when they said it was purified.