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Dear Friends,

Fish is often in the news because of its health benefits. From helping your heart to infant nutrition, eating fish regularly is healthful. The reason is the type of fat in fish like salmon which have been clearly shown to be good for you. Here's why.

Fish, especially fatty fish, contain a type of fatty acid-omega-3s-not found in most other foods. When consumed regularly, these fatty acids protect the heart from unstable heart rhythms that can be fatal. They reduce the chance of sudden death and stroke, and improve the pattern of lipids in the blood. Omega-3 fatty acids are also beneficial in type 2 diabetes, immune and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, and may be helpful in some mental conditions.

Omega-3s are involved in fetal and infant brain development. They accumulate in the retina of the eye where they are linked to visual function. Mothers provide these fatty acids to their infants during pregnancy and nursing from their own stores and by consuming fish.

Your body cannot make omega-3 fatty acids, so you need to obtain them from foods. Seafood, particularly salmon, is the richest source of these nutrients. Consuming pink and red Alaska canned salmon is a convenient and effective way to boost your intake of omega-3s all year round.

Including fish twice a week is recommended by the American Heart Association. When you help yourself to fish, you're helping yourself to better health.

Dr. Joyce A. Nettleton, D.Sc., R.D.

Dr. Nettleton is a widely recognized authority on omega-3 fatty acids and has written three books and numerous articles on seafood and health.