The Health and Weight Loss Benefits of Fish

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The Health and Weight Loss Benefits of Fish

fishAs you pursue your weight loss program, discovering healthy, low-calorie foods is key to meeting your goals. You may have noticed that many dietary guidelines suggest eating fish several times per week. If you’re wondering how fish promotes weight loss and better health, consider the following benefits offered by Omega-3 fatty acids:

  1. helps to maintain cardiovascular health
  2. plays a role in blood clotting and vessel constriction
  3. prevents cardiac arryhthmia (irregular heartbeat)
  4. promotes neurological health
  5. reduces inflammation of tissues and possibly relieves the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
  6. prevents depression
  7. powerful anti-aging properties; reduces neurological decline as you age

Aside from Omega-3 fatty acids and the above health benefits, fish is also a good weight loss food because it is high in protein and low in “bad” fats. Eating a diet high in protein helps to keep you feeling full, wards off cravings, maintains your blood sugar levels, and builds lean muscle mass which increases your metabolism. Unfortunately, many common sources of protein are also high in the “bad” fats that you typically want to reduce in your diet while pursuing a weight loss goal. But since fish is a great source of lean protein, it’s the perfect weight-loss food.

Of course, this advice comes with one caveat: many species of fish contain high levels of mercury, making them a less-than-ideal food to include in your diet too regularly. In order to best protect yourself from environmental contaminants while eating lots of fish, look for these varieties which are high in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids but also low in mercury:

  1. Wild Alaskan salmon
  2. Anchovies
  3. Sardines
  4. Sablefish
  5. Farmed rainbow trout
  6. Arctic char
  7. Atlantic mackerel
  8. Albacore tuna from the U.S. and Canada

In order to reap the health and weight loss benefits of fish, include the food in your diet several times per week. Of course, remember that preparation is key; grill, bake, or broil your fish to avoid adding extra calories. Remember to consult your weight loss physician before beginning any new diet or exercise program.