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Fish & Seafood

Nations health in serious decline due to lack of Omega-3

An alarming decline in the nation’s health due to a lack of Omega-3 has been revealed in recent research conducted by the International Society for the Study of Fats and Lipids (ISSFAL).

The research shows that the total UK population is eating 50% less oil-rich fish than it was 50 years ago, which is having a detrimental effect on the health of the nation.

Omega-3, a fatty acid found in oil-rich fish, is a vital nutrient. It is known to lower blood pressure and help the brain, vascular and central nervous systems to develop.

Oil-rich fish also contains Vitamins A and D, which strengthen hair, bones and teeth. Men are particularly vulnerable to physical and mental health problems such as heart disease and depression; by increasing their intake of Omega-3 fatty acids they are making a positive step towards combating these illnesses.

Researchers at Harvard University USA, found that the consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids from oil-rich fish showed a significant reversal in manic depression. It has also been found that the death rate of patients likely to suffer from heart attacks has been reduced by 30% by eating two portions of oil-rich fish a week.

Men are particularly vulnerable to physical and mental health problems such as heart disease and depression; by increasing their intake of Omega-3 fatty acids they are making a positive step towards combating these illnesses. Researchers at Harvard University USA, found that the consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids from oil-rich fish showed a significant reversal in manic depression. It has also been found that the death rate of patients likely to suffer from heart attacks has been reduced by 30% by eating two portions of oil-rich fish a week.

Commented Eileen MacPhee, Food Nutritionist from the Sea Fish Industry Authority: “We have a big re-education job to do. It is vital that men incorporate oil-rich fish into their diets to ensure their own health and well being. Consumers may be put off by the words ‘oil-rich fish’ and ‘Omega-3 fatty acids’. But we really need to change this view now, especially with evidence from surveys such as that by the World Health Organisation and the Harvard School of Public Health which stated that by the year 2020, acute depression will be the world’s second leading cause of death and disability, behind only heart disease.”

Pregnant women should incorporate oil-rich fish into their diet at least one to two times a week, so that their unborn child develops healthily. Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to the weight of the baby and prevent premature births.

But the benefits don’t stop after the birth. Mothers who regularly consume oil-rich fish will have breast milk that contains DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid. Infants breast-fed with this have a higher mental ability at ten months, than those who are not breast-fed.

Eileen continued. “There is a common misconception that oil–rich fish is difficult to cook but it’s so easy to incorporate it into your diet, although many people are stuck for ideas. Oven-baked herring, barbecued sardines, marinated tuna steaks or mackerel fish cakes are simple and easy to prepare as well as having the bonus of being good for you.”

19 September 2000

 

 

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