Health Benefits

Eating fish is good for your health!

Video:  Risks and Benefits of Eating Fish

Fish are a primary dietary source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

They can:

  • Lower risk of abnormal heart beats
  • Lower triglyceride levels
  • Slow the growth of plaque in your arteries
  • Slightly lower blood pressure


Eating low-contaminant fish while pregnant may help the baby’s brain develop.For that reason, it is important for pregnant women to eat fish, but choose fish that are low in chemicals.

Recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020

The advice relating to seafood consumption states, in part:

“For the general population, consumption of about 8 ounces per week of a variety of seafood, which provide an average consumption of 250 mg per day of EPA and DHA [omega 3s], is associated with reduced cardiac deaths among individuals with and without preexisting CVD [cardiovascular disease].  Similarly, consumption by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding of at least 8 ounces per week from seafood choices that are sources of DHA is associated with improved infant health outcomes. 

 

The recommendation to consume 8 or more ounces per week (less for young children) of seafood is for the total package of nutrients that seafood provides, including its EPA and DHA content.  Some seafood choices with higher amounts of EPA and DHA should be included. 

 

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consume at least 8 and up to 12 ounces of a variety of seafood per week, from choices that are lower in methyl mercury.

 

Obstetricians and pediatricians should provide guidance on how to make healthy food choices that include seafood.  Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and young children should not eat certain types of fish that are high in methyl mercury.”

More detailed information can be found in the full report, Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020.