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Hook, Line, and Sinker: The Health Benefits of Fish and Seafood

A balanced diet that includes a variety of fish and seafood is great for your heart health. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of non-fried fish every week. (A serving is equal to a 3.5 ounce filet or ¾ cup of flaked fish.) Here’s what fish bring to the table.

High-quality protein

Fish and shellfish are tasty sources of high-quality protein. (Examples of shellfish include shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, scallops, and oysters.) Your body uses the proteins in food to make and maintain bones, muscles, and skin. 

Omega-3 fatty acids

Fish and shellfish also contain omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats help:

  • Reduce your risk for dangerous abnormal heart rhythms

  • Decrease levels of triglycerides—a type of fat in the blood

  • Slow the buildup of fatty deposits that clog arteries

  • Lower your risk for heart disease, cardiac arrest, stroke, and heart failure

For the most benefit, choose types of fish that are high in omega-3s, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, and albacore tuna. Other fish and shellfish—such as cod, tilapia, catfish, and shrimp—have omega-3s in smaller amounts.

Low in saturated fat

Fish and shellfish are naturally low in saturated fat—a kind of fat that raises cholesterol levels, which increases your risk for heart disease and stroke. So, fish and shellfish are good alternatives to foods heavy in saturated fat, such as many red and processed meats.

Just make sure unhealthy fat isn’t added during cooking. It’s best to skip the fried fish and seafood. Grilling, baking, broiling, and boiling are healthier ways to prepare your catch of the day.

Consider adding fish or seafood to your plate today to reel in some great health benefits. 


Date Last Reviewed: 1/1/2020
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