Oily fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel) contain significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, fats recognized for their positive effects on health in general.. you still have to eat them well. In the future, it is better to forget the “fish & chips”.
Special attention must be paid to the way of preparing these fish to preserve their beneficial properties as much as possible.
Omega-3s are essential fats that we cannot make on our own and therefore must come from our diet.
Unlike other types of fats that are very common in our foods, there are far fewer food sources of omega-3s. These short-chain omega-3s are mainly found in flaxseeds, chia seeds as well as in some nuts.
These plant-based omega-3s perform several beneficial functions on the body, in particular through their anti-inflammatory action. For example, people who eat a diet rich in these fats have a much lower risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease.
Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, cognitive functions, cancers: omega-3s protect against “everything”
Eicosapentanoic (EPA) and docosahexanoic (DHA) acids are the main fatty acids of the long-chain omega-3 family. They are mainly found in fatty fish – salmon, sardines, mackerel. It is important to choose the best sources of long-chain omega-3s, because an impressive number of studies have shown that these fats have protective effects against various disorders, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis , loss of cognitive functions and certain types of cancer (breast, colon).
Moreover, the low prevalence of cardiovascular diseases observed in certain populations, such as the Inuit or the Japanese, is largely linked to their high consumption of fish or marine mammals. For example, the Japanese absorb an average of almost 1g of EPA and DHA per day, and their mortality rate from coronary heart disease is almost 90% lower than that of inhabitants of regions where there is little fish consumption, in particular the North America.
According to some studies, the protective effect of these fats can even be observed in smaller quantities: thus, a modest consumption of around 250-500mg of EPA and DHA per day, which is barely equivalent to half a portion of salmon. – reduces the risk of death from heart disease by approximately 40%. There is therefore no doubt that an increased consumption of oily fish can have extraordinary repercussions on health.
Frying destroys omega-3s
If adding fatty fish to the menu is a simple and effective way to increase our intake of long-chain omega-3s, we must however keep in mind that these fats are very fragile and can be quickly destroyed by certain cooking processes. at very high temperatures, especially frying.
For example, one study showed that people who ate two servings a week of traditionally cooked oily fish had twice the blood level of omega-3s than those who ate no fish.
ate these fish in fried form, there was no increase in their blood omega-3 levels. It therefore seems that frying causes a
On the other hand, in people who ate these fish in the form of frying, there was no increase in their blood omega-3 levels. It therefore seems that frying causes a degradation of these fats and at the same time reduces the benefits associated with the consumption of fish. Not to mention that frying very often leads to the consumption of excess fat from cooking oil, which can contribute to excess weight, as well as trans fats, extremely harmful fats that dramatically increase the risk of disease. cardiovascular.
It’s often said that simple things are best, and that’s probably true when it comes to omega-3-rich foods. No need for complicated frying to prepare these fish! There are plenty of easy recipes out there that combine their savory taste while making the most of their health benefits.
Being in a hurry is not even an excuse: a can of sardines accompanied by a bit of bread or lettuce is undoubtedly one of the simplest and most economical ways to combine diet and chronic disease prevention.
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Mozaffarian et al. JAMA 296: 1885-99.
Chung et al. J. Nutr. 138: 2422-2427.