Fat is an important macronutrient in the form of oil, which can be met from food consumption. Although fat is needed by the body, the amount of intake needs to be limited because many types of foods contain saturated fats. But this is different if you consume oily fish (oily fish) that contain the type of fat that is needed by the body.
Nutrition of oily fish
In general, fish is a type of food that is rich in a variety of important nutrients, but its content can vary and depend on the type. Oily fish are several types of sea fish that are famous for being rich in omega-3 fatty acids, for example salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna. The composition of the fat content of several types of fish is also different from red meat which contains a lot of saturated fat.
A source of fat that is good for health and rich in protein causes oily fish to meet most of the body's macronutrient needs. In addition, the consumption of oily fish also helps you meet the needs of vitamin D, B vitamins and minerals such as selenium. All parts of the body of the fish have almost the same nutritional content. Nutrition of oily fish also tends to be more durable even though it has been preserved by the process of cooling, fumigating, and packaging in cans.
The need for omega-3 from oily fish can be fulfilled by consuming twice a week with one serving per serving. One serving of fish recommended about 100 grams of cooked fish meat. However, some individuals with certain conditions such as having heart disease need higher omega-3 needs.
Health benefits of consuming oily fish
Here are some of the main benefits of consuming omega-3 from oily fish:
- Maintaining heart health - omega-3 (EPA and DHA) from oily fish can help reduce accumulation of fat levels in blood vessels which are the main risk factors for causing diseases such as hypertension and coronary heart disease.
- Preventing cancer - the development of cancer caused by the body that cannot respond to the growth of cancer cells from the beginning. Adequacy of omega-3 is needed by the body to respond and prevent the growth of cancer cells early, without affecting normal cells especially on the surface of the skin and the mouth.
- Helps brain cell growth - omega-3 is an essential nutrient needed in the growth of a child's brain, even in the womb. DHA is needed for the development of sensory abilities, thinking, and development of a child's motor nerves. By meeting the needs of omega-3, brain cells can also regenerate better so that they can reduce senility and dementia in the elderly.
- Overcoming joint pain - the condition of joint pain is caused by inflammation and swelling in the joints causing pain in the individual who experiences it. Oily fish also has anti-inflammatory effects from omega-3s to reduce the effects of inflammation on joints.
How to select and store oily fish
If you are going to buy oily fish in fresh condition, choose the condition of the fish that is still stiff and hard and has the color of the eyes and the surface of the body that is not pale. Avoid choosing fish that are too fishy. The body of an oily fish will become more soft if it has been caught in a few days. Fish storage must be in a cold room, freezing conditions will be better. However, the nutrient content in fresh fish fat will also be rapidly reduced, therefore you should immediately consume a maximum of one day after purchase.
Things to consider in consuming oily fish
1. How to present
The absorption of the nutrients of oily fish by the body is influenced by how to cook the fish before it is eaten. Serving by frying can cause additional levels of fat that are not needed, and can affect the benefits of fish consumption. Therefore, try serving a healthier fish by boiling, baking, or steaming.
2. Calorie intake
Even though they have a good type of fat, the fat from fish still counts as fat consumption which must be limited. In addition to containing omega-3s, oil from fish can also cause you to consume excess calories and have an impact on obesity.
3. Potential health hazards
Oily fish are predatory marine fish at a fairly high level of the food chain. This causes oily fish caught from polluted seas to potentially accumulate toxins such as dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Pollutants in fish will be very dangerous for pregnant women and children, therefore observe the source of fish to be consumed. If you can't eat oily fish, the benefits of omega-3 can also be obtained from consuming fortified eggs, flaxseed and walnuts.
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