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Cook Fish the Right Way for Optimal Health Benefit

Researchers recently found that in order to get all of the heart health benefits fish has to offer, you have to cook it the right way.

The study was presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2009 held in Orlando, Florida the week of November 14th, 2009.

Researchers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa found that baked or boiled fish delivers heart benefits more effectively than fried, dried or salted fish.

Many studies have confirmed the positive association between omega-3 consumption and cardiovascular health but this is the first study to look at the implications of the method used to cook the fish.

The study included 82,234 men and just over 100,000 women from Los Angeles and Hawaii between 45 and 75 years of age.

None of the participants had heart disease at the beginning of the study. Over the course of the ten year follow-up, 2,604 of the men (3%) and 1,912 of the women (2%) died from heart disease.

The study looked at the source, type, amount and frequency of omega-3 intakes of the participants. It examined the intake of canned tuna, other canned fish, fish excluding shellfish and soy products that contain omega-3s.

The researchers observed an overall 23% lower instance of cardiovascular mortality among men with the highest omega-3 essential fatty acid intake (3.3 g daily) compared to those with the lowest intakes (.8 g daily).

The researchers further divided the participants into three groups based on how often they baked or boiled fish. Those in the top third group were 10% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease.

On the other hand, men and women who ate the most fried fish were 12% more likely to die from heart disease. Those who ate the most salted or dried fish had a 15% increased risk of dying from heart disease.

The researchers also found that women saw more heart protective effects from plant sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids like tofu and low-sodium soy sauce than did men.

Omega-3s from fish can provide a laundry list of health benefits but it appears cooking fish in the right way is essential.

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