Eating fish reduces the chance of death from heart disease by 36% but watch out for mercury contamination.
HEALTH 4 ALL: How to derive the greatest benefits from eating fish by Professor Nithi Mahanonda
Taking the middle path means not inclining toward any extreme. Everything should be done in moderation. That's the Buddhist way.
Health-conscious people often eat fish. Some eat fish every day at every meal. However, due to the radiation scare in Japan and reports of possible water contamination, people have started to doubt whether fish is safe, and some have even given up eating fish altogether. Both cases are examples of going to extremes.
Heath organisations say that fish is good for the heart. A study done by Harvard University said that eating fish regularly can help reduce deaths from heart disease by 36% - a better result than that achieved by many patent medicines. However, this doesn't mean that you should throw your heart medication in the rubbish bin and go for fish.
It is not immediately obvious why fish can help the heart. Fish has more good fat than red meat does and it has a lot of omega-3 fatty acid which can help reduce heart-rate irregularities, blood clotting and inflammation of the artery wall. It can also decrease one's triglyceride level. It is recommended to include fish in at least two meals a week.
Omega-3 fatty acid in fish is not only good for the heart but also beneficial for the brain, especially in infants and young children. It has also been proven to help with memory and emotions in older people. Joint pain in rheumatoid patients can also be alleviated by this fatty acid because of its anti-inflammatory property.
News reports about fish contamination were doing the rounds even before the nuclear scare. Fish can contain mercury and other toxins, due to improperly treated wastewater from industrial complexes. When small fish eat bacteria in the water, toxins accumulate. When bigger fish eats the small fish, the toxins get transferred to the big fish. Eventually they end up in our bodies. The older the fish, the more toxins it tends to contain.
Mercury, even in small amounts, can damage the nervous system of a foetus or infant. If too much mercury is consumed, the brain and eyes can be damaged. Even adults can be seriously harmed by an excessive intake of mercury.
Levels of mercury can vary from species to species. In the US, small children, pregnant women and nursing mothers are advised to avoid tilefish and king mackerel because these can be high in mercury
Due to the nature of their habitat, farmed fish tend to have higher levels of mercury than fish caught in the wild. Small fish from the ocean is used by commercial canneries, while many restaurants serve fish bought from farms.
Other toxin found in fish include PCB, DDT and dioxin. These poisons accumulate in the fish's fat layers and liver. Freshwater fish have more of these toxins than saltwater fish.
Consuming fish oil, in liquid or tablet form, is is not as good as eating whole fish whose flesh contains other useful nutrients. So far there have been no reports of contamination in the oily fish sold in markets here. Still, too much fish oil may be just as unhealthy as too much fish.
My advice regarding fish is to eat moderate amounts. Choose short-lived fish such as sardines and herrings. If possible, eat fish that come from the wild in preference to farmed fish. Try not to eat fat layers and the skin as these are where toxins accumulate in fish.
A patient of mine was obese and her triglyceride level was high. I told her to change her diet to fish and white meat (such as chicken, without skin). Three months later, she came back even heavier, with a higher triglyceride level. She told me she had eaten breaded deep-fried fish and chicken at every meal, every day.
Prof Nithi Mahanonda is a heart specialist at Perfect Heart, Piyavate Hospital
(Source: Bangkok Post, HEALTH 4 ALL, How to derive the greatest benefits from eating fish, 10/05/2011, Prof Nithi Mahanonda, link)
Health and Fish Vocabulary
derive - get
derive X from Y - get X from Y
benefits - goods things that can happen from anm activity ผลประโยชน์
middle path - (See Wikipedia)
inclining toward Y - tending toward Y
extreme - much more severe or serious than usual ที่ร้ายแรงมาก, ที่รุนแรงที่สุด
moderation - not doing or using too much, not too little, using just the right amount, in the middle
conscious of Y - actively thinking about Y (example: conscious of how many calories there are in the food you eat)
health-conscious - thinking about health (when choosing what to eat)
conscious - aware; noticing that something exists or is happening and realising that it is important ความสำนึก ความตระหนักถึง
radiation scare - when many people are suddenly scared that there is nuclear radiation in their food, in their water, in the air, etc .....
contamination - made dirty and dangerous to use or eat after exposure to dirt, germs, chermicals, or radiation
doubt - not know for sure if something is true or false, uncertain
patent - legal rights to use an invention and to prevent the invention from being used by others, details of invention must be revealed to government patent office (See Wikipedia)
patent medicine -
medication - a medicine, or a set of medicines or drugs used to improve a particular condition or illness
rubbish - waste material or things that are no longer wanted or needed ขยะ
rubbish bin - a garbage can (a container for putting garbage in, for throwing away garbage)
immediately - happening right after something else with no delay; right away ทันที
obvious - clear; easy to see, recognise or understand ชัดเจน
It is not immediately obvious why... - it is not easy to understand why...
red meat - the red meat of beef and other animals, often considered less healthy than white meat, "meat which is red when raw and not white when cooked Red meat includes the meat of most adult mammals and some fowl (e.g. ducks)" (See Wikipedia)
white meat - meat from poultry such as chicken, considered healthier than the red meat of beef (See Wikipedia)
omega-3 fatty acid - nutrients commonly found in fish with health benefits (See Wikipedia)
irregularities - things that are not normal (and may indicate that something is wrong)
heart-rate irregularities - also known as "cardiac dysrhythmia" and "cardiac arrhythmia" (See Wikipedia)
blood clotting - the natural process in the body to stop bleeding when a blood vessel is broken, consists of three steps: 1. contraction of blood vessel, 2. platelet plug formation, 3. formation of blood clot, blood goes from liquid to gel (See Wikipedia)
inflammation - a red, painful and often swollen area in or on a part of your body การอักเสบ, การติดเชื้อ
artery - one of the thick tubes that carry blood from the heart to other parts of the body เส้นโลหิตแดง
artery wall - the several layered combination of elastic and muscle tissue that keeps the blood contained in an artery (See Wikipedia)
triglyceride - a chemical found in fat associated with heart disease and strokes (See Wikipedia)
beneficial - helpful or good มีประโยชน์
memory - something that you remember from the past; the ability to remember information, experiences and people ความจำ
joint - a place in the body where two bones meet and can move together, such as the elbow, hip or knee (See Wikipedia)
arthritis - a medical condition characterized by inflammation of the joints, which results in pain and difficulty moving (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)
rheumatoid arthritis - one kind of arthritis, a chronic and progressive disease in which the immune system attacks the joints, characterised by pain, inflammation and swelling of the joints, stiffness, weakness, loss of mobility and deformity(See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)
alleviate pain - reduce pain
property - quality คุณสมบัติ
doing the rounds - meaning here: going around, being passed around, people mentioning to each other, information passing informally from person to person (note: when a doctor "does the rounds" in a hospital he or she visits the beds in the hospital and checks up on the patients and their health status)
mercury - the silver colored metal found in thermometers (See Wikipedia)
toxins - poisonous substances, especially ones which are produced by bacteria and which cause disease พิษ
wastewater - dirty polluted water coming out from factories or homes (water after being used for some purpose)
industrial complexes - a place where there are a lot of factories (possibly polluting the air and water, making it dirty and unhealthy)
accumulate - to get more and more of something over a period of time สั่งสมมานาน
transferred - moved
nervous system - the brain and spinal chord and all the nerves in the body that allow the control of muscles (motor nerves) and that transmit sensations and feelings from outside the body (sensory nerves) (See Wikipedia)
foetus - an animal or human in the later stages of development before it is born (See Wikipedia)
infant - a baby or a very young child ทารก, เด็กอ่อน
excessive - much greater than is usual; too much of something มากเกินปริมาณที่พอดี
vary - change
species - a set of animals or plants in which the members have similar characteristics to each other and can breed with each other พันธ์,จำพวก
pregnant - having a baby developing inside the body ท้อง ตั้งครรภ์
nursing - when the mother is supplying her baby with her own milk as food
tilefish - an important food fish but also has problems with high concentrations of mercury (See Wikipedia)
king mackerel - an important fish for the commercial fishing industry, ranked as one of the top four fishes for with high concentrations of mercury which makes it dangerous for pregnant women and children (See Wikipedia)
nature - the basic quality or feature of something ลักษณะที่แท้จริงของสิ่งต่างๆ, ธรรมชาติ
habitat - the type of place that a particular animal usually lives in or a particular plant usually grows in ถิ่นที่อยู่ของพืชหรือสัตว์
fish farm - a farm with fish ponds to raise fish for sale in local markets
farmed fish - fish raised in fish farms
tend - to be likely to behave in a particular way or have a particular characteristic มักจะ
commercial - for business purposes
canneries - a factory where food is put in cans (so it can be put on the shelves of stores and sold)
PCB - PCBs are a group of toxic, persistent chemicals once used in high-voltage electrical transformers, they are bioaccumulants (collect in the body). They primarily damage the liver (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)
DDT - a pesticide that was banned after many negative health effects (See Wikipedia)
dioxin - poisonous "by-products of industrial processes (i.e., bleaching paper pulp, and chemical and pesticide manufacture) and combustion activities (i.e., burning household trash, forest fires, and waste incineration). The defoliant Agent Orange, used during the Vietnam War, contained dioxins. Dioxins are found at low levels throughout the world in air, soil, water, sediment, and in foods such as meats, dairy, fish, and shellfish. The highest levels of dioxins are usually found in soil, sediment, and in the fatty tissues of animals. Much lower levels are found in air and water" (See Wikipedia)
liver - an organ in the human body that has many functions including removing poisons (toxins) from the blood stream (See Wikipedia) ตับ
saltwater fish - fish living in the ocean (the "salt water" of the ocean)
freshwater fish - fish living in rivers, lakes and ponds (in which the water has no salt in it)
flesh - the soft part of a body between the bones and the skin
nutrients - substances that help plants and animals grow
moderate - neither very great nor very small in strength, size, amount or degree ระดับปานกลาง
sardine - a small oily fish commonly sold in cans (See Wikipedia and Google Images)
herring - an oily fish commonly salted, smoked, marinated or creamed (See Wikipedia and Google Images)
the wild - an area with many animals, plants and trees but no humans (forest, jungle, desert, prairie, tundra, etc)
preference - something that you want or like most ความต้องการ
patient - someone who is receiving medical treatment คนป่วย, คนไข้
obese - fat