As if there was not enough confusion in the area of healthy eating, now we are faced with the fact that fish is either really good for you, or it is going to really get you sick. Recent research has shown that eating larger amounts of fish and shellfish can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease. A recent report out of the Harvard School of Public Health has indicated that increased fish consumption can reduce the risk of death from heart disease by as much as 35%. This is the kind of news that makes the owners of Red Lobster Restaurants happy, and at the very least should have us all heading out to Captain D's, but before you start munching down those fishfillet sandwiches you might want to keep reading.
There is a significant risk of exposure to methyl mercury contamination in fish. This is a heavy metal that is not only linked to learning disabilities and developmental delays in children, but you guessed it, also is linked to heart damage in adults. It is also linked to nerve and kidney damage, but hey, once the old ticker goes that is not going to matter all that much.
We also have some confusion in regard to feeding fish to our kids. As was already mentioned the methyl mercury causes developmental delays, but the omega-3 fatty acids and some of the other key nutrients in fish have been shown to contribute to accelerated brain development in infants. I guess that this is really a balance issue. The good stuff gets the brain going, and the bad stuff holds it back. The net result is a normal brain? And a kid that is not as hungry. Adults might see the issue the same way. Eating fish is going to protect your heart to some degree, and damage it at the same time resulting in no change. Meanwhile you get to enjoy that Cajun baked trout!
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