The average Pole during the year eats about 14kg of fish, and their largest consumption falls on the period of Christmas and Lent. The fish is tasty and very nutritious. We eat them too much!


Nutritional value of fish

Fish is a source of wholesome and easily digestible protein. Oily marine fish contain a lot of fatty acids from the omega 3 family. Fish is also a valuable source of many minerals important for the body, such as phosphorus, iodine, calcium and selenium. Relatively rich in calcium are small-sized fish, e.g. herring. Sea fish, compared to freshwater fish, are more abundant in iodine. In fish, we also find vitamins, including vitamin D. Unfortunately, they can also abound in what is unfavorable, namely sodium. The largest amounts of sodium are found in salted fish.

Good fish for everything

Oily fish salmon, herring, mackerel are a great source of fatty acids from the omega 3 family. In this case, fat does not mean unhealthy at all! On the contrary. Fish fat, as well as EPA and DHA fatty acids have a positive effect on the work of the heart and the entire cardiovascular system, as demonstrated in many scientific studies carried out on large groups of people. This type of fat reduces the level of “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood and works anti-arrhythmic and anti-inflammatory. The valuable properties of fish fat translate into reducing the risk of blood clots and a heart attack and sudden cardiac death. A diet rich in oily fish also increases the body’s immunity and improves the functioning of the nervous system, including brain work responsible for memory and concentration.


Recommendations, or how many fish should we eat? The American Heart Association (2006) and the Polish Forum for Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases (PFP, 2008) recommend that healthy people consume a minimum of 2 portions of fish per week (especially marine fat), which corresponds to the delivery with a diet of approximately 400-500 mg EPA + DHA. In the case of people with heart disease, especially in the case of elevated blood triglycerides (hypertriglyceridaemia), the fish should be eaten more often. However, in many situations it is not possible to cover with the diet the recommended requirement for EPA + DHA, then supplementation should be considered. In any case, such a decision should be previously consulted with a doctor and dietitian.

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