Fish fat isn’t just the lesser of two evils

The American Heart Association (AHA) has long supported substituting fish and other lean proteins for red meat in an effort to protect heart health. But while some people may see fish as a less-satisfying stand-in, fish has benefits beyond keeping the rice and vegetables company on your dinner plate.

Many fish, especially oily, darker-fleshed fish such as salmon and herring, are rich in heart-healthy, polyunsaturated, omega-3 fatty acids. Polyunsaturated fats can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Numerous studies have found that people who eat fish on a regular basis are less likely to die of a heart attack than those who don’t eat it or eat it less than once a month. A 2006 Harvard review found that eating one to two servings of fish rich in omega-3s every week cut the risk of dying of a heart attack by one-third.

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