Health Benefits of Fish and Seafood
The Health Benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids help diabetics maintain better control of blood sugar levels.
Fish and other seafood are excellent sources of protein while being relatively low in saturated fats and calories compared to other sources of protein such as fatty meats. Fish is one of the richest natural sources of
Omega 3 essential fatty acids. Salmon and trout in particular have high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids.
Omega 3 fatty acids do not occur naturally in cells of the body and must therefore be obtained through one's diet.
There are 3 main types of omega 3 fatty acids.
ALA - alpha-linolenic acid
EPA - eicosapentaenoic acid and
DHA - docosahexaenoic acid
ALA is found in tofu, soybeans, canola walnuts and flaxseed and oils derived from these products. However, alpha-linolenic acid needs to be converted in the body before it can be absorbed. The body is not very
efficient at making this conversion and evidence that this conversion actually takes place is rather tenuous. As a result EPA and DHA become the most significant dietary sources of Omega 3 fatty acids and this is where
fish comes into its own. They are one of the most abundant sources of DHA and EPA.
One major negative of eating too much fish is the incidental and unintended consumption of contaminants which the fish have picked up in the waterways. Due to differences in food sources mercury levels in fish vary depending on whether the fish are farmed or caught in the wild.
In normal circumstances the levels of mercury in most fish are not likely to cause serious concern to a healthy adult unless consumed to excess. However, infants, children and pregnant women may be more susceptible to harm at lower levels of mercury.
The preponderance of evidence however falls squarely in favor of eating fish. The health benefits derived from Omega 3 far outweigh the possible risks from contaminants. If consumed in moderation there is little doubt that fish can be extremely beneficial.