‘Pie hole’, colloquial for one’s mouth, is believed to have evolved in the USA in the 1980s from the British expression ‘cake hole’ (coined in the mid 20th century). Pie hole refers to a mouth, as in: Shut your pie hole or, in this case: Put less in your pie hole.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Get Hooked on Fish Food pt II

In pt I we filleted the fishy facts about fish being down right fantastic for your health. Along with that were the benefits of omega-3s during pregnancy, oh and that feeding your face fresh fish during pregnancy was a great thing too.

No more should we flounder over the benefits of fish, they're freakin' fantastic and that's a school of thought to high five your flippers over.

Only over and over do we hear of the outright obvious and overt benefits of omega-3s. So what about the pill-popping, supplement-happy crowd? Let's discuss...

The fishy facts of fish oil supplements
Yes, you can get your omega-3s in pill form, and for people who are allergic to seafood, this is a good option. But for the rest of us, a "fish first" philosophy is far more fitting.

Why? Here's the science:
  • One meta analysis reviewed 13 studies and found no benefit of supplemental omega-3s with relation to human brain development
  • Another meta analysis reviewed 18 studies and found the same results
What we're saying is, there's more to fish than omega-3s. If you want to know what's tipping the scales (so to speak) it's that friendly fishy fish-flesh is more complex than just omega-3s.

Allow me to introduce a great term: "Synergistic effect of food":
  • Food has so much more to offer than a pill
  • Fish, the food contains iodine, vitamin D, a range of amino acids and other health-promoting antioxidant compounds
  • Fish is an excellent source of lean protein
These points are a perfect example of "food synergy".

Ok, ok, ok... Let's get back to mercury, the mean side of marine meat. I'm just going to give you the take home points pertaining to mercury...
  • Large fatty fish are high in mercury
  • Small fatty fish and small lean fish are the best choices (see below)
  • Even during pregnancy, low mercury fish is encouraged and are a better choice than omega-3 supplements
Lowest mercury fish (top left), low mercury fish (bottom left), and fish to avoid (right). Adapted from: http://pressroom.consumerreports.org/.a/6a00e551f37027883301b8d061be78970c-popup
Lastly, farmed fish... It's fairly controversial. So here are a five facts to consider:
  1. They are low in methyl-mercury
  2. Feeds are strictly monitored
  3. Farmed salmon isn't injected with pink dye
    • Wild salmon eat shellfish that contain carotenoids (a natural pigment, antioxidant, and vitamin A precursor)
    • These carotenoids give salmon their colouring, farmed fish feed contain these carotenoids, hence farmed fish get their colouring
  4. As with any meat product, there are environmental concerns, you can read more about that here and here
  5. Farmed salmon is safe and actually great during pregnancy
    • Research shows farmed salmon increases antioxidant defenses during pregnancy
Hopefully this fish tail has shed some light on the benefits of fish and inspired you to try a few new varieties. Maybe a fish dish like fish head stew is on the cards soon?

Here are a bunch more great resources:

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