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Want to keep your heart healthy? Eat more fish



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COLUMBIA, S.C. - Something fishy is going on. Research shows getting the fat off our plates is key to heart health. Yet, evidence indicates eating something known as Omega-3 fatty acids benefits most everyone.

Kay MacInnis, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation dietitian at Providence Hospital, explains why this dietary component, most often found in fish, should be a regular part of a heart healthy diet.

"Simply stated, omega-3 fatty acids helps the blood flow more smoothly," says MacInnis. "They are so good for you."

MacInnis offers information about omega-3 fatty acids to take to heart:

Research shows omega-3 fatty acids help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, lowers triglyceride levels and blood pressure. And there may be evidence it also helps with arthritis.

Cold water fish are the best source of omega-3 fatty acids. Some of these include salmon, tuna, mackerel and trout.

Most people should include three servings of fish per week in their diets.

Exceptions would be pregnant women and those wanting to have children, due to high levels of mercury in some fish species. For most others, the risk of mercury appears to be outweighed by the potential benefits of eating fish.

Almonds, walnuts and flax seed oil are other sources of omega-3 fatty acids. The component can also be found in milled flax seed.

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(c) 2005, The State (Columbia, S.C.). Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service.

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