North Carolina Sea Grant
Mariner's Menu

Mariner's Menu

May 26, 2010 | David Green

seafood is health food

A recent international report concludes eating fish lowers the risk of death from heart disease in the general adult population. For women of childbearing age, the report concludes eating fish during pregnancy and breastfeeding lowers the risk of poor brain development in babies.

During the January 2010 Joint Meeting of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO), 17 experts in nutrition toxicology, epidemiology, dietary exposure and risk-benefit assessment crafted language to help various governments communicate scientifically sound advice about the overall effects of eating fish.

The report comes at a time when federal nutrition experts are preparing to update the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Largely overlooked in the past, the importance of eating seafood is expected to be addressed.

Fish currently constitutes about 7 percent of animal protein in the American diet, while Asian countries and other regions the amount is more than 25 percent.

The message is that not eating enough fish packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids has consequences on public health, the experts noted. Thus, governments should adjust their communications to consumers to reflect the science-based advice in the report.

Source: National Fisheries Institute

Contributed by David Green

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