American Heart Month. How Seafood Helps Promote Heart Health

Every year 610,000 people die from heart disease, the leading cause of death. Studies show that seafood consumption reduces the risk of dying from heart disease.

One of the primary reasons that seafood, especially fatty fish such as wild Alaska salmon and sablefish, has been shown to reduce heart disease issues is because of the high content of the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), particularly in fatty fish like wild salmon and sablefish.  

Omega-3 fatty acids are a part of every cell in our bodies, particularly in the cells of our eyes, heart and brain. The higher the combined dietary intake of EPA and DHA, especially from seafood, the lower the risk of fatal heart attacks. Omega-3 fatty acids are high quality fats that are critical components of our diets. Fatty fish such as wild salmon and sablefish contain heart-healthy fats, such as unsaturated fat. This unsaturated fat is necessary for the absorption of important fat-soluble vitamins such A, E, D and K. Without fat, these nutrients are poorly assimilated by the body.

Omega-3 fatty acids dramatically lower the triglycerides in blood, thus reducing risk of heart disease. In addition, high levels of EPA and DHA help increase blood levels of HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol, also reducing risk of heart disease and heart failure.

Chronic, low-grade inflammation has been found to be an underlying cause in diseases such as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, depression and heart disease. Inflammation comes from poor diet and being sedentary, among other factors. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce the risk of inflammation.

To combat all these problems, Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Heart Association both recommend at least two servings of fish per week, preferably fatty fish such as our Alaska Gold Wild Salmon and Sablefish.

Complimenting seafood with plant-based diets, such as a Mediterranean-type diet have been shown again and again to be the best prevention of chronic disease and the best way to promote overall health. Consuming fatty fish along with plants rich in vitamins A, E and K, such as green leafy vegetables, creates a synergistic effect. Combining wild Alaska seafood that has a higher fat content such as our wild king salmon, wild sockeye salmon or sablefish along with foods high in vitamin A such as bell peppers, sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots or broccoli helps your body absorb vitamin A and vitamin E. Check out this teriyaki-braised Alaska sablefish with colorful vegetables recipe.

Along with staying active, keeping heart-healthy seafood as part of your routine is a key to staying well.



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