We all know that fish is extremely healthy and has many healthful qualities. (Of course I am talking about grilled or steamed fish, not the deep-fried and battered variety).
A recent study has now shown that eating fish can increase your life span. Researches from the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Washington have concluded that the oil in fish, more specifically, the omega-3 fatty acids are responsible for keeping disease at bay. For the study, the researchers isolated the three primary chemical compounds (docosahexaenoic, (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA)) found in fish. Those with higher levels of all three fatty acids showed a 35% lower risk of dying from heart disease that those with lower levels of the fats in their blood. DHA was associated with a 40% lower risk of coronary heart disease death, EPA was linked to a lower risk of heart attacks and DPA was associated with a lower risk of death from stroke.
When the researchers factored in not just heart disease but other causes of death, those with the highest levels of all three fatty acids were 27% less likely to die during the study period and lived on average more than two years longer than those with the lowest levels.
So now that we’ve established how brilliant fish is for your health, the next question to ask is - are some fish varieties healthier than others? Fatty fish, such as salmon, herring and, to a lesser extent, tuna, contain the most omega-3 fatty acids and therefore the most benefit. Some fish however, such as tilapia and catfish don’t appear to be as healthy as they contain higher levels of unhealthy fatty acids. Remember to always buy wild-caught fish over farmed fish. Farmed fish contains high levels of antibiotics, pesticides and other chemicals that are passed on to us when consumed.