Should we eat fish? PART 1
Many of those who renounce to eat meat considers that fish would be a healthy alternative. That is because of the fish oil advertise as being useful in preventing stroke.
What are the scientific data in relation to the fish?
Undoubtedly, compared to other animal products, the fish has some advantages, but also problems. First, fish is also a product of animal origin, so it contains cholesterol. Every cell in living organisms contain cholesterol, so any meat, however lean would be, has an appreciated amount of cholesterol. In reality, there is no difference between the cholesterol content in the meat of fish and other animals – poultry, beef or pork products. If 100g of pork meat contains 76 mg of cholesterol, l00g of beef contains 80 mg; 100g poultry breast without skin, have 73 mg; and 100 g of sardines contains 120 mg of cholesterol. Only plants don’t contain cholesterol.
It is customary as in the treatment of coronary artery disease may be recommended fish oil, about 15 g / day. But 15 g of fish oil contains 100-115 mg of cholesterol, that’s more than a roast beef of 100 g. Those who use fish oil should not be amazed if they grow in cholesterol.
The second fish problem is related to saturated fats. It is true that, compared to other meats, the proportion of fatty acids polyunsaturated, versus saturated fatty acids, is more favorable in the meat of fish, but this proportion is not so favorable as that encountered in the vast majority of vegetable origin foods.
Salmon, sardines, mackerels and some fatty fish are rich sources in omega-3 fatty acid. These are the long chains of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which includes the eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) which has a decrease in platelets viscosity, preventing their aggregation and thus decreasing the risk of obstruction of the blood vessels. Fatty acids omega-3 favors a slight drop in blood pressure and triglycerides, but simultaneously grow the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol. Animal studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids decrease the extent of myocardial necrosis as a result of stroke, reducing the thrombosis probability after ballon angioplasty dilation and after bypass surgery.
A study in the Netherlands showed that people who consumed fish daily decresed the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%. An impressive figure, but a research on vegetarians seventh-day adventist men showed that their risk of heart attack was lower by 86%! The results of both studies are not the least unexpected. While people who had a very unhealthy diet can benefit by switching to consumption of fish and can even perform some decrease in cholesterol, they can not get the benefits of total vegetarian diet.