The lead article this month presents the somewhat surprising breakthrough news that just five servings of the right fruits and vegetables per day is associated with optimal health benefits—especially for long-neglected lung health.
This is good news for people who have struggled to keep up with the ever-increasing U.S. dietary recommendations for fresh produce. (Turns out, you can eat a sensible five servings of produce a day rather than the less reasonable eight servings that some dietitians have long touted.)
And now, there’s equally good news for fish consumption as well.
For optimal health, I recommend five to six servings of omega-3 rich fish or seafood (like salmon or tuna) a week. But, let’s face it…that can be a lot of fish—and many people have trouble attaining that goal.
That’s why I was intrigued by a new analysis of four large studies. It included nearly 192,000 participants from 58 countries on six continents. And the researchers who conducted this analysis found that you can still reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by eating only a moderate amount of fish…1
In fact, the researchers reported that people who already have cardiovascular disease and consume fish just twice a week can lower their risk of a heart attack or stroke by about 16 percent.
Of course, you gain a lot more by eating more fish, or by taking higher doses of fish oil to supplement what you’re not getting from your diet.
But don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. If you can’t eat fish five or six times per week, twice a week still does your heart good.
For those who don’t eat any fish, try to work your way up to this very reasonable goal. It’s well worth it—especially when it comes to your heart. Then, once you’re enjoying fish twice a week, I still recommend 4 to 5 grams of fish oil daily.
1“Associations of Fish Consumption With Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality Among Individuals With or Without Vascular Disease From 58 Countries.” JAMA Intern Med. Published online March 08, 2021.