Alaska Seafood is a great catch if you are watching salt in your diet. Evidence suggests that eating fish or seafood omega-3s contributes to lower blood pressure, especially in people with high blood pressure (hypertension) or on weight-loss diets. In addition, these omega-3s act on the blood vessels and the kidneys to help lower blood pressure. Reducing salt while increasing omega-3 intake further lowers blood pressure.
Omega-3s from seafood are best
You’ve probably heard that omega-3 fatty acids are good for your heart and brain health. These fatty acids occur almost exclusively in seafood and cannot be substituted by the one omega-3 fatty acid that is found in plants. And many species with the highest levels of omega-3s come from Alaska.
Mercury: No worries with Alaska seafood
Yes, mercury is found in virtually all seafood. But harmful mercury levels are seldom found in people who eat a variety of fish and shellfish, because seafood is also rich in selenium, a nutrient that binds tightly to mercury and prevents it from becoming harmful. In fact, people who eat seafood regularly are healthier than those who do not. The evidence is clear: the health benefits of eating Alaska Seafood outweigh the chances of harm.
Eating Alaska Seafood benefits the heart in many ways. Eating fatty fish regularly reduces the inflammatory substances produced in the heart’s arteries, improving the function of these blood vessels. In fact, if you enjoy seafood at least twice a week, you could reduce your chance of dying from heart disease.
Pregnancy and Infancy
Pregnancy is a crucial time for mothers to nourish themselves and their developing babies. Several key nutrients for mothers, such as selenium and iodine, are abundant in seafood. One occurs in seafood almost exclusively—the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA. Research suggests that the longer infants receive DHA, either from breastfeeding or supplemented formula, the better visual acuity they have at one year of age and beyond.
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Omega-3s are vital for healthy visual and retinal function and may also lower the chance of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Once AMD develops, seafood omega-3s may slow or prevent the development of advanced AMD. They may also help with cataracts, dry eye, glaucoma and other visual disorders.
Omega-3s from seafood give your brain a mental edge. They are linked to sharper brain function, cognition and memory that comes from consuming seafood omega-3s: you may lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and possibly Parkinson’s disease. After pregnancy, increased DHA consumption can lessen the symptoms of postpartum depression. Omega-3s may even help in treating patients with depression.
Whether you’re young or old, seafood omega-3s may tone down overactive immune responses, making your symptoms of inflammation less severe. For example, seafood omega-3s may promote immune system maturation in infancy and lessen the symptoms of childhood allergies or delay their onset. Research also suggests that increased omega-3 consumption may ease the symptoms of some inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, certain allergies and digestive disorders.
Diabetes: How to reduce your risk
Consuming seafood omega-3s may reduce the chance of developing diabetes and the metabolic syndrome that precedes it. Evidence suggests that higher consumption of omega-3s or fatty fish may also have a positive effect on glucose and insulin metabolism. These fatty acids also tone down the inflammatory processes that contribute to diabetes.
Q: The media recently reported that Alaska salmon is now contaminated with tapeworm. Is that true?
No. Alaska Salmon is the same fresh, nutritious and healthy fish it has always been and you can continue to enjoy it without worry. What you likely saw was an article referencing a scientific study about tapeworm species. Unfortunately, the original news story misinterpreted the study turning it into a cautionary food safety issue. Alaska seafood providers are committed to delivering high-quality, safe seafood. All commercially harvested Alaska seafood is processed in accordance with FDA guidelines, which include specific measures about parasite control.
Q: Do I need to prepare salmon differently now?
No. You can rest assured that the Alaska salmon that you buy or order at restaurants has been treated in accordance with federal food safety standards. The FDA requires that all seafood is either frozen at -4F for 7 days or cooked to an internal temperature of 140F to effectively kill any parasites. For raw or semi-raw preparations, such as sushi and ceviche, ASMI recommends using properly frozen seafood. This is required by FDA guidelines and followed by commercial processors in Alaska.
Q: Is it safe to eat Alaska salmon?
Absolutely. Alaska salmon is among the highest quality seafood and safe for consumer consumption.
Q: Can you tell me more about this study?
The study was done to assess marine tapeworm species. To conduct the research, several different species of salmon were collected from sport harvesters from a non-commercial harvest area, and the fish was not commercially processed. While one species of tapeworm was found in an Alaskan pink salmon, this is not an indictment of the greater Alaska salmon commercial catch, which is intended for consumer consumption. Further commercial pink salmon is sold to consumers canned or frozen. Only 0.6% of pink salmon is released fresh (2015 data) and no commercial harvest of pink salmon in freshwater streams takes place. This particular fish is not bound for the fresh sushi market.