Effects of Fish Cholesterol – Good or bad?

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How does fatty fish cholesterol affect our body?

Find out about the different effects of fish and its cholesterol lowering benefits. Most people now know that both dietary cholesterol and saturated fat levels contribute to cholesterol.

Not everyone understands just how to translate this information into a healthy diet, or just what foods can help to lower their cholesterol levels. The cholesterol lowering benefits of fish have been in the news a lot lately, so you might be familiar with them.

Fish Cholesterol Fact #1:

First, eating fish provides you with a lower fat form of protein that meat or poultry, so it has been recommended for a while that you substitute it once or twice a week for these meats. However, this is not the only reason for the fish cholesterol lowering benefits.

Getting a lower amount of saturated fat in your diet will lower the amount of blood cholesterol you have, so this is very important, even more important than lowering the amount of cholesterol in your diet.

Fish Cholesterol Fact #2:

According to a study, "people who ate 8 ounces or more of fish per week -- mostly from canned tuna -- lowered their risk of a having a fatal heart attack by 40 percent over those who didn't eat fish regularly"(1).

This is thought to be mostly due to the high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids that are found in these fish.


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Fish Cholesterol Fact #3:

According to WebMD, these types of fats both lower the amount of triglycerides and contribute to the slower growth of plaque in the arteries. (2) This is great news for those who like fish.

So what do I do?

To get the fatty fish cholesterol lowering benefits, you need to eat at least two servings of these fish per week, and a daily dose of Omega 3 fatty acids is recommended for those who already have high cholesterol. You can eat tuna, mackeral, salmon, or other types of fatty fish.

For a change from fish you can also try including walnuts or flaxseed oil in your diet.

References: (1) "Get Hooked on Fish", Reader's Digest, January 16, 2010, http://www.rd.com/living-healthy/get-hooked-on-fish/article16110.html

(2) "Fatty Fish & Your Cholesterol", WebMD, Griffin, R. Morgan, http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/features/low-cholesterol-diet-fatty-fish 


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