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Study: fish better than fish oil

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A recent study in Australia has shown that eating fish with Omega-3s may very well be more beneficial to general heart health and well-being than dosing up on supplements.

The study published in Nutrition and Dietetics, the Dietitians Association of Australia's journal, compared the effect of long chain omega-3 oils from fresh salmon and fish oil capsules on heart disease risk factors.

The study featured 11 heart disease patients from St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne. It showed that eating fish twice a week could be more effective in lowering blood pressure than popping a fish oil pill.

Both the fish and the capsules increased the 'omega-3 index' to the level thought to be linked with a lower risk of dying from heart disease. However, eating fish, but not fish oil capsules, was also linked with a marked reduction in blood�pressure.

''It may be that eating fish replaces other less healthy foods, meaning a better diet

overall,'' says study researcher Catherine Itsiopoulos.

New Zealanders can benefit in the knowledge that their locally produced King salmon contains more healthy omega 3 fatty acids than any other salmon, in fact, much higher levels than the Atlantic salmon species farmed in Australia and the northern hemisphere.

A single 100gm piece of salmon is the equivalent of 14 standard fish oil capsules - and it's a whole lot tastier.

Plant and Food is also investigating the use of fish peptides (found from eating fish rather than supplement equivalents) to positively influence metabolic syndrome. Studies have already shown that fish peptides can help control insulin resistance.

The Omega-3 Centre suggests a king salmon steak about the size and thickness of a deck of cards (100gms) contains about 2,000mgs long chain omega-3s. To prevent a deficiency of omega-3s, health authorities recommend about 650mgs of omega-3s a week for women and 1,100mgs for men (approximately 50g of King salmon).

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