(Health Secrets) Scientists have documented the value of fish oil for the cardiovascular system, but what is the best choice for omega-3 oils? The American Heart Association (AHA) recently reported the results of a study conducted on cooked fish and how various cooking methods affect omega-3 fatty acid content. The study team found that baked or boiled fish is far healthier than fried, salted or dried fish.
The study consisted of nearly 200,000 men and women from various ethnic backgrounds who were divided into groups based on intake of different types of prepared fish as well as other foods high in omega-3 oils. Particularly in women, salted and dried fish was found to be a risk factor heart disease despite the fact that the fish contained omega-3 oils. Shoyu and other sauces high in sodium were also implicated in putting women at a higher risk of dying from heart disease.
Within their various assigned groups, the group with the highest level of omega-3 consumption averaged 3.3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day; the lowest group had only 0.8 grams per day. Results indicated that men who ate 3.3 grams per day had a 23 percent lower risk of suffering from cardiac death compared to those who only had 0.8 grams per day.
Problems with the study included failure to identify possible dietary changes among study participants throughout the course of the study that may have altered findings. Supplementation with fish, cod liver, or other omega-3 rich supplements was also not considered. Experts suggest that further research, which takes these things into account and that monitors omega-3 levels in the blood consistently throughout the study period, is necessary.
The goal of the study was to figure out proper fish intake recommendations and the best ways of preparing fish in order to gain the most benefit. By sampling people from various ethnicities and age groups, researchers also hoped to better pinpoint possible genetic dispositions to heart disease and custom tailor eating recommendations for various groups.
While fish was the main focus of the study as a recognized source of omega-3s, other sources like pastured grass-fed meats, eggs, and dairy products are worthy of consideration as well. Pastured, grass-fed meats have a much lower fat content compared to their conventional counterparts. Pastured, grass-fed animals produce meat that is up to four times richer in omega-3s than grain-fed meats.
Because certain kinds of fish contain high levels of mercury, pastured animal products are preferable sources of omega-3s, as well as vegetable and grain sources like spinach, kale, and flax and hemp oils.
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