Pass the fish

One of the questions I got today during my talk had to do with seafood. I was mentioning omega-3 fatty acids and that they can have a beneficial effect on a person's cholesterol. "I thought that fish was bad for you," someone asked me, and they heard that there were a lot of contaminants in seafood. The Institute of Medicine, in a new report, tries to clarify the confusion (CNN).

"The benefits of cardiovascular health from eating seafood, including farm fish, far outweigh the risk of cancer from environmental contaminants," said Dr. William Hogarth of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the group that commissioned the report.
The environmental contaminants they're talking about include mercury, dioxins, and PCBs. The study found that the levels of these substances were so low in seafood, that there is no danger in consuming it, even a potential cardiac benefit.
The committee members say they aren't sure why fish reduces the risk of heart disease. It could be a direct effect of the omega-3s, or it could simply be that it is lower in saturated fats than other meats, and by adding more fish to the diet, individuals are eating less of the fattier meats.
I do not live close to the ocean. So, one of the many things I look forward to is having fresh seafood when on vacation. Finally, a news story about food that has nothing to do with spinach, ecoli, carrot juice, botulism, recalls, or any of that bad stuff. Order up some broiled salmon and veggies for me tonight. Yum!