Magazine article New Zealand Management

Fish: A Good Fat Dish

Magazine article New Zealand Management

Fish: A Good Fat Dish

Article excerpt

The typical corporate lifestyle is made-to-measure prescription for developing heart disease. The sedentary reality of long hours spent sitting behind a desk, combined with the sometimes formidable pressures and stresses of corporate life, and frequent wining and dining in the line o duty, can spell disaster.

The middle-aged executive may be predisposed to a litany of heart ills including hypertension, high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, clogging of the arteries, and the ultimately feared cardiac event, a heart attack.

The good news is that a little proactive lifestyle and dietary modification will safeguard your heart health, despite the legacy of corporate living. Weight management, regular aerobic exercise, avoiding cigarette smoking, and dietary modification significantly reduce the likelihood of ending up a cardiac statistic.

Any discussion of heart disease and diet usually involves the subject of much maligned dietary fats. The heart foundation "tick" programme and media awareness programmes have created the notion in the popular mind, that all dietary fat is bad fat. The truth is that when it comes to preventing heart disease, not all fats are equal. While minimising saturated fat intake is undoubtedly advisable, the humble fish provides a form of dietary fat which has multiple benefits in the fight against heart disease.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the cardiovascular benefits of regular consumption of fish, rich in omega-3 fatty acids. "Oily fish" such as halibut, mackerel, herring, sardines and salmon are particularly rich in the beneficial omega-3 fats known as EPA and DHA.

The American Heart Association strongly endorses fish consumption, recommending that people with no previous cardiovascular history consume fish at least twice weekly. For those with preexisting heart disease, oily fish is recommended as a daily addition to the diet, or the use of fish oil supplements containing at least 900mg of fish oil.

The infamous Harvard Medical School American Physicians Health Study tracked the health of 22,000 male doctors for 20 years. During that time, 94 doctors with no previous diagnosis of heart disease, died from sudden heart attack. Researchers compared the levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the sudden death group, with 180 of the surviving members of the study. …

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