There's no point in going overboard and casting out fish altogether. Fish is still an excellent source of protein, with much less fat and cholesterol than lean meat. It's a good source of minerals including iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorous, as well as vitamins A and D; and it is easier to digest than meat and poultry. The most compelling reason to eat fish: It's loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3s are the good-for-you polyunsaturated fatty acids found primarily in oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna and herring. Studies have shown that omega-3s have a number of healthy benefits including:
- Decreasing the risk of heart disease
- Lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood pressure levels
- Reducing the inflammation and other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
- Supporting normal development of the retina and brain, particularly in infants
- Improving mood, both in depression and bipolar disorders, as well as having a positive impact on attention deficit disorder