Boiled fish contributes to the reduction of incident heart failure risk. (Photo: Stock File)
How fish is cooked can cut or boost heart failure risk: study
Friday, May 27, 2011, 04:00 (GMT + 9)
Incident heart failure risk in postmenopausal women can be cut if they consume more baked or broiled fish and less fried fish, according to a study published this week in Circulation: Heart Failure.
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago researcher Rashad J Belin, PhD and colleagues evaluated the risk of incident heart failure regarding fish preparation methods or the fatty acids in fish in 84,493 postmenopausal women for an average of 10 years. The researchers assessed the consumption of baked/broiled fish, fried fish and ω-3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA and ALA) and trans fatty acid (TFA) through food frequency questionnaires.
The scientists adjusted for heart failure risk and dietary factors and found a correlation between fish or fatty acid intake and incidence of heart failure, reports HealthDay News.
They determined that a weekly consumption of at least five servings of baked or broiled fish was associated with a 30 per cent-lower incidence of heart failure. In contrast, weekly consumption of even one serving of fried fish correlated with a 48 per cent-higher risk of developing heart failure.
"How you prepare fish is just as -- if not more -- important than the type of fish in terms of seeing benefits," said senior author of the study Donald Lloyd-Jones, MD and chair of preventive medicine at the university, reports Health.com.
"This may not be earth-shattering news, but it is important to get people focused on a healthy diet, because that is what helps us avoid disease,” he underscored.
No significant correlation was found between EPA and DHA, ALA or TFA consumption and incident heart failure.
Lloyd-Jones and his colleagues conducted a separate analysis through which they determined that certain types of fish seem to be healthier than others: eating dark, oily fish such as salmon and mackerel was linked to a lower risk of heart failure -- perhaps due to its high content of omega-3 fatty acids -- while eating tuna or white fish such as sole and cod did not show such a correlation.
"In light of this new study, greater emphasis on encouraging baked [or] broiled fish and dark fish -- salmon, mackerel and bluefish -- should be considered," noted Gregg Fonarow, MD, codirector of the preventative cardiology programme at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), who was not involved in the study.
Further, the researchers did not find a connection between the study participants' total intake of omega-3 fatty acids (including from fish oil supplements) and diminished rates of heart failure. Lloyd-Jones said this suggests that consuming the whole fish rather than some of its parts helps protect heart health.
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By Natalia Real