Fish Radio
March 28, 2013Soy meal - it's what's  for dinner! Credit: Food/Water Watch

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch …”You are what you eat” also applies to fish. I’ll tell you more after this —

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It turns out that the old adage you are what you eat also applies to fish.

Scientists at the European Society of Cardiology revealed that the health benefits of eating fish high in omega 3 fatty acids depend on what those fish are fed. And adding vegetable oil to the feed, which is routinely done with farmed fish, appears to negate the powerful heart disease fighting effects. In the Norwegian study, test subjects ate salmon fed with pellets made from fish oil, vegetable oil or a combination of the two. After six weeks blood tests showed levels of omega 3’s increased substantially in the patients who ate salmon fed on fish oil, but not in the others. The most impressive difference was in levels of triglycerides, the form in which most fat exists in food and in our bodies. Triglycerides, which can build up to clog arteries in the heart, fell by 30 percent in the fish oil group and not at all in the others.

The European researchers concluded that if we are what we eat, then salmon are too. They pointed out that only two percent of the world market today is wild salmon and salmon farmers use the less healthy feeds. They recommended tailoring farmed fish feeds with more heart protective properties. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week.

And there’s more good fish news on the health front: a Canadian study says a diet rich in omega 3s can help keep Alzheimer’s disease at bay. A five month dietary study examined the brains of mice and showed clearly that high levels of omega threes benefited brain cells that enable memory and learning. Neuron Magazine called the research the strongest evidence so far that a specific diet deficiency can have a direct effect on the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The message is simple: you are what you eat – and the benefits of eating wild fish are clearly better.

 Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods. Ocean Beauty has contributed over 10 million meals to the U.S. Food Bank network, and is committed to ending hunger in America. Check out Ocean Beauty’s new website at   In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.