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Salmon gets the tick

October 28, 2004

Salmon gets the tick

Your grandmother probably forced a daily dose of fishy-smelling cod liver oil down your reluctant father's throat but there was method in her medication.

Cod-liver oil is high in essential fatty acids, most importantly omega-3. Omega-3, amongst its many attributes, can help to maintain a healthy heart.

With National Heart Week upon us, it's great to know there's a much more taste-bud tempting way to get your daily dose of omega-3 - by eating salmon.

No longer an expensive delicacy, salmon is positively dripping in omega-3 oils.

In fact, American Heart Association guidelines say we should be eating two servings of fish - particularly 'oily' fish such as salmon - every week[1] .

In New Zealand, it's a stance endorsed by Massey University Associate Professor Marlena Kruger.

"Cardiovascular risk reduction is perhaps the most widely recognised health effect of omega-3 fats," Professor Kruger says.

"In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration allowed a qualified claim on foods containing omega-3 fats highlighting their beneficial role in combating cardio-vascular disease."

"And salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fats."
Prof Kruger says omega fats have a number of functions in the body, several of which are particularly relevant in the prevention of heart disease.

"Omega-3 fats prevent blood cells from clumping together and forming blood clots that can be a cause of heart attack and stroke. Eating just one meal of omega-rich fish a week has been associated with a 50per cent reduction in risk of heart attack in some populations."[2] ,[3]

Structurally, omega fats are found in the membranes of cells. They are important for maintaining membrane flexibility and normal functioning of the cells, Prof Kruger says.

The omega fats also assist several essential chemical processes in the human body.

Regal Marlborough Salmon chief executive Paul Steere is naturally a firm advocate of salmon as a health food.

"As we enter National Heart Week, it is timely to remind ourselves the heart will beat more than two and a half billion times in an average lifetime. It's the true powerhouse of life, so it's important obviously to look after the pump with regular maintenance.

"Salmon is a maintenance food and sea-farmed Regal Marlborough Salmon gets a big tick from the New Zealand Heart Foundation," Mr Steere says.


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