How cooked fish affects heart-health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids
If you love eating fish and want to benefit from its omega-3 fatty acids, read on… According to a research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2009, it came to light that baked or boiled fish is better than fried or salted. Moreover, on adding tofu or low-sodium soy sauce would also add in more benefits.
According to the lead researcher Lixin Meng, M.S. of the study and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, “By boiling or baking fish with low-sodium soy sauce or shoyu and tofu is beneficial rather than eating fried, salted or dry fish. These methods of preparation of fish may contribute you at risk.” Earlier, various studies had suggested the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, like it reduces the risk of heart disease, but no emphasis was provided for its preparation methods or which source is most valuable.
In this study participants were recruited between 1993 and 1996. They were part of the Multiethnic Cohort who were the residents of Hawaii and Los Angeles country. The group had 82,243 men and 103,884 women of women of African-American, Caucasian, Japanese, Native Hawaiian and Latino descent in the age group of 45 to 75 years old without any history of heart disease. The main purpose of the study was to examine the source, type, amount and frequency of dietary omega-3 intake among gender and ethnic groups.
All in all the men who took about 3.3 grams of fish per day of omega-3 fatty acids had a 23 percent lower risk of cardiac death when compared to those who ate 0.8 grams per day. Meng pointed out that for women; the omega-3 effect was cardio protective at every level of consumption but not always significant. In reality salted and dried fish was a risk factor in women. In comparison, it was revealed that adding less than 1.1 gram a day shoyu and teriyaki sauce was protective for men. But for women shoyu showed a clear contrary relationship to death from heart disease. Ming noted that because of high content of sodium level in shoyu it has the ability to raise blood pressure, so it is beneficial to have low-sodium products in the diet. Eating tofu on the other hand had a cardioprotective effect in all the ethnic groups.
In the study Meng noted that Japanese and Hawaiians people eat fish in plenty when comparing it with whites, blacks and Latinos and they have a somewhat different method of preparing fish. Meng further said that eating omega-3s from shoyu and tofu which contain active ingredients like phytoestrogens could have a stronger cardioprotective effect than easting just omega-3s. Meng concluded further studies may confirm the assumption, but one thing is clear, this study will educate people how much fish could be eaten and how to cook it to prevent heart disease.
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