Fatty fish or lean fish: Which is good for your heart health?

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Scientists from the Federico II University of Naples found that eating fatty fish, but not lean fish, may benefit people’s heart health.

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), a group of heart and blood vessel disorders, are the number one cause of death and disability globally.

Cardiovascular diseases include conditions such as arrhythmias, coronary heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure, congenital heart defects, vascular dementia, and stroke.

Coronary heart disease is a type of heart disease where the arteries of the heart cannot deliver enough oxygen-rich blood to the heart. It is the leading cause of death in the United States.

Eating fish is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease partly ascribed to the high content of omega-3 fatty acids; however, not all fish types are equally rich in these nutrients.

To date, it is not clear whether the health benefits of eating fish are shared by fatty and lean fish.

Fatty fish like anchovies, herring, mackerel, black cod, salmon, sardines, bluefin tuna, whitefish, striped bass, and cobia are high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Very lean white fish include cod, haddock, grouper, halibut, tilapia, and bass.

In the current study, researchers aimed to synthesize knowledge regarding the relationship between eating fatty fish or lean fish and the risks of heart disease and death.

They conducted a review of 19 published studies involving human participants and compared the highest with the lowest fish intake.

The team found fatty fish intake was linked to lower risks of coronary heart disease and total death. This was not the case for lean fish.

The summary estimates for cardiovascular diseases and death did not show a strong association with both fatty fish and lean fish intake.

Based on the findings, the team says that the health benefits so far linked to fish consumption are, in fact, driven by fatty fish.

The research was published in Advances in Nutrition and conducted by Annalisa Giosuè et al.

If you care about heart health, please read studies about the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease, and calcium supplements could harm your heart health.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies that blackcurrants can reduce blood sugar after meals and results showing how drinking milk affects the risks of heart disease and cancer.

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