DISEASE AND FISH
& COOKING ARTICLE
heart disease is a major killer in the world - and it's
generally linked to diet and lifestyle - the good news
in this of course, is that you can change your diet
and lifestyle if you want to.
often reported that a 'mediterranean' style diet will
lessen your chances of developing coronary heart disease,
but what exactly is a mediterranean style diet?
oils, vegetables - a little meat - look at an Italian
meat meal for instance - invariably, you use only a
small amount of meat in a vegetable sauce. Typically,
1lb (450g) or less of meat will serve four people. If
you were serving roast beef or a steak, how much meat
would you have on your plate? A lot more than 4 oz I
bet. There's much less heart disease in Mediterranean
countries and it's not a coincidence.
as an aside here - look at Sophia Loren who was born
in 1934 - she's over 70 years old - she attributes her
looks and overall wellbeing to a daily pasta meal -
hey, maybe we should all go that route!
British Heart Foundation recommends the following as
a balanced diet, which will maintain or improve your
overall health and combat heart disease.
portions of fruit and vegetables a day - sadly,
potatoes don't count BUT if you eat the skins, it's
fibre - see below.
portions of fish a week - one oily (if you've already
had a heart attack or have angina or coronary heart
disease, then it is recommended that you have two or
three portions of oily fish a week)
fish is low in calories and provides Vitamins A,
D and B along with minerals calcium, iodine and flourine.
You should aim to eat it at least once a week. Canned
tuna counts as white fish and it's very tasty and versatile.
white meat - chicken - cut back on the red meat
- that may be really bad news for those of us who love
a fillet steak, but chicken can be served in so many
different ways and there are so many varieties of fish,
that it's impossible to get bored with a diet that has
little red meat in it.
for low fat options where you can - fry in polyunsaturate
oils - olive oil is great to use - the mediterranean-anti-heart-disease
down on salt and drink alcohol sensibly.
cereal - it's thought that a high fibre diet helps
your body to get rid of the toxins and 'bad' cholesterol
quicker - doesn't do so much damage 'lurking' around
your intestines and clogging up your arteries. It lessens
the risk of heart disease.
real big difference though, for most people, is in the
amount of fish you should be eating - outside the Mediterranean,
very few people eat fish on a regular basis.
not going to bore you rigid with great long explanations
about cholesterol, fatty acids, high density and low
density lipoproteins and their role in heart disease
- if you want information about all that, then go to
the British Heart Foundation
aim here is to briefly outline why you should and how
you can, very easily, make a change - by incorporating
fish in your diet and helping yourself and your family
avoid heart disease.
can oily fish make a difference to heart disease?
fish provides Omega-3 polyunsaturate fatty acids. These
reduce the 'stickiness' of your blood, which makes it
less likely to clot and interfere with the rhythms of
fatty acids also protect your arteries and reduce the
levels of triglycerides - both of these are associated
with coronary heart disease.
body can't make Omega-3s, so it has to come from your
fish, mackerel, pilchards, fresh tuna (not canned as
the oils are destroyed in the canning process) sardines,
trout, salmon and herring are high in Omega-3s. Canned
oily fish is good - how hard is it to make a canned
salmon sandwich or serve canned sardines with a salad
or add canned pilchards to your pizza?
mackerel is very tasty on toast - toast your bread -
mash the canned mackerel and spread over the toast,
arrange sliced tomato over it - season with some black
pepper and heat it under the grill - it's making me
hungry just writing about it!
you see how easy it could be?
amounts of Omega-3s are in some nuts and oils - rapeseed,
walnut or soya oil, dark green leafy vegetables, some
cereals and nuts - walnuts, pecans, peanuts and almonds,
soya beans and tofu.
can of course take fish oil supplements. If you are
taking WARFARIN, then please consult your doctor before
taking supplements. Omega-3s reduce the stickiness of
your blood and you're taking drugs that already thin
your blood. Omega-3s in your diet won't hurt, but a
supplement may be too much.
owe it to your children to get them used to a healthy
choice of eating.
to put too fine a point on it, our children are becoming
'couch potatoes' for the most part.
world doesn't seem as safe as it was, they have games
machines, 24 hour television and we don't really want
to let them out - they don't roam free like we used
to - we take them everywhere in cars - they don't get
friend of mine has two children (boys of 10 and 14 when
diagnosed) who have high blood pressure - one of the
symptoms of heart disease - and are taking medication
for it - how scary is that? And whose fault is it? Given
the family medical history, it was inevitable - but
you have a family history of coronary heart disease,
then it's important that you start your children right.
there's been a lot in the press about Omega-3, 6 and
9 and their role in developing brain 'connections' in
a child, I was given cod liver oil every day - as were
most of my friends. We hated it and so haven't given
it to our children. It looks like we made a big mistake.
it just coincidence that dyslexia, ADHD and other similar
disorders are becoming more and more common?
don't think so and I have started my 15 year old son
(who goes to a specialist dyslexia school) on a course
of fish oils - I wish I'd had the courage to do this
earlier - but I didn't - so...
whole demeanour has begun to improve - and that's given
the fact that we're going through the adolescent stage
- it really can't be coincidence - the proof is staring
me straight in the face.
about me as an adult?
never too late to start to improve your diet - really.
a friend of mine in his 50s, suffered dreadfully from
arthritis and all sorts of other complaints - diabetes,
high blood pressure, angina - symptoms of coronary heart
disease and the first steps to a heart attack.
saw him the other day and commented on how well he was
looking - moving freely and easily and generally well
- he looked years younger - absolutely brilliant.
asked him if he'd changed his medication.
you know what he said - No, I've just tidied up my diet.
Eating more fish and vegetables and I've lost weight
and feel great - hardly any aches and pains and I'm
cutting down on my drugs. He didn't need them, not cutting
back because he wanted to, but he didn't need them in
the same way.
health has improved tremendously - his doctor's delighted
with him. There was a huge difference in him - and it's
just taken 6 months - not a slimming diet, just 'tidied
up' his diet. More fish, more vegetables - it's really
my friend Jim, tidy up your diet - more fish - 5 portions
of veg - encourage your children to do the same.
not saying you can never have another burger - they're
only about 4 oz (100g) each anyway - the Italian meat
portion - but at home, use fish or chicken and vegetables.
are loads of ideas here for cooking fish - if you're
just starting out, then have a look at the Canned Fish
section - it's easy to have a salad or sandwich, but
there's loads of other ideas.
a look round and experiment - your heart will thank
you for it - and your children should outlive you -
we can virtually wipe out coronary heart disease if
we choose to - it's a diet and lifestyle choice for
the most part.
of us don't need to expose ourselves to the risk of
coronary heart disease - we choose to by the way we
eat and live.
as daft as crossing the road without checking it's clear
- for a lot of the time, you won't get hit, but if you
do, then it's 'curtains' - we don't take that risk,
so why do we risk getting coronary heart disease because
of the way we eat?
article comes from Liz Alderson who runs a UK recipe
site called find-a-seafood-recipe.com
title of the site really speaks for itself but if you
would like to find out more about Liz, its creator and
editor, then have a look at her page under the Biography
28 March 2006
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