What’s good for women’s heart? Baked mackerel!

May 25th, 2011 - 3:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, May 25 (IANS) Postmenopausal women who often consumed baked or broiled fish had a 30 percent lower risk of developing heart failure, as compared to women who seldom ate it. And dark fish like salmon and mackerel are particularly good.

A maximum serving of five or more per week of baked or broiled fish was linked with a lower risk, says a large-scale study.

Previous research has found that fatty acids (omega-3) in fish, EPA, DHA and ALA may lower risk of heart disease by decreasing inflammation, resisting oxidative stress and improving blood pressure, cardiac and blood vessel function, reports the journal Circulation: Heart Failure.

Researchers found that dark fish (salmon, mackerel and bluefish) were associated with a significantly greater risk reduction than either tuna or white fish (sole, snapper and cod).

In a similar analysis, eating fried fish was associated with increased heart failure risk. Even one serving a week was associated with a 48 percent higher heart failure risk.

“Not all fish are equal, and how you prepare it really matters,” said senior study author Donald Lloyd-Jones, associate professor in preventive medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago.

“When you fry fish, you not only lose a lot of the benefits, you likely add some things related to the cooking process that are harmful,” Lloyd said, according to a Feinberg statement.

Other research has shown that frying increases the trans fatty acid (TFA) content of foods, which is associated with increasing risk for heart disease. In this study, however, the researchers did not find an association between TFA and heart failure risk.

Lloyd-Jones and his team examined self-reported dietary data from 84,493 postmenopausal women in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study.

They conducted their analysis based on data from 1991 through August 2008. During an average follow-up of 10 years, 1,858 cases of heart failure occurred.

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