Friday, April 22, 2011

Saturated Fat in Seafood

You may be aware that a high cholesterol level in the blood is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (including heart disease and stroke) due to the build-up of fatty deposits that block or weaken blood vessels. By eating a healthy diet, you can help lower your blood cholesterol level.

Recent studies have shown that most species of shellfish are a good source of omega-3. In particular, crab, oysters and mussels contain as much omega-3 as some oil-rich fish. Omega-3 has been shown to provide benefits to heart health.

In a very small number of people (about 1 in 100) high blood cholesterol can be caused by a genetic condition called Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) or Familial Combined Hyperlipidaemia (FCH). Those with this condition often need to be more cautious in their consumption of high cholesterol foods.

Researchers have found that a diet rich in fish, seafood, and grains -- also called polyunsaturated fats -- is better at preventing heart disease than a diet containing olive oil, nuts, and avocados -- called monounsaturated fats. Although both types of fats are healthy, people should probably include more of the first than the second in their diet to keep a healthy heart, the scientists say.

Fish contain a type of essential fatty acid called the omega-3 fatty acids.

Wild-caught cold water fish, like salmon, are higher in omega-3 fatty acids than warm water fish.

In addition to being an excellent source of omega-3s, these fish are an excellent source of selenium, a very good source of protein, niacin and vitamin-B12, and a good source of phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin-B6.

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