Women's Heart Advisor April 2012 Issue

Fish and Shellfish Provide Essential Fats for Heart Health

Omega-3 fatty acids protect the heart and may lower your diabetes risk.

If there were a vote for the most valuable heart nutrient, omega-3 fatty acids would surely win. Omega-3s have been shown to significantly lower the risk of sudden cardiac death from arrhythmia, help prevent blood clot formation, inhibit the growth of artery-damaging plaque, reduce the amount of dangerous triglycerides made by the liver, increase levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure. Now, studies conducted in China suggest that omega-3s may also lower the risk of type 2 diabetes (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, August 2011). However, the source of omega-3 that produced this result differed according to gender: Women benefited from a diet containing both fish and shellfish; men, from shellfish alone.

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