An international team of specialists has been studying the health data of about 421,000 individuals recruited from 1995 to 1996 for the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Those individuals have been followed since then (240,729 men; 180,580 women). Researchers from the Engineering and Food Science Department at Zhejiang University in China, the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and the National Institute of Health (NIH) in the U.S. reported recently on the long-term health benefits of fish consumption as determined in the study. The results are impressive with some interesting differences between men and women. The 20% of both men and women who eat the most fish have lower mortality than the 20% eating the least. A 9% lower mortality in men and 8% lower in women. However, the source of the mortality improvement is quite different. The 20% of men eating fish more often had a lower death rate from cardiovascular disease (CVD) -10%; cancer -6%; and a whopping 37% lower death from liver disease compared to the 20% of men eating the least. The women in the top group had a similar lower death rate from CVD -10%; and a huge – and very encouraging for the Big Brain aficionados- 38% lower incurrence of Alzheimer’s Disease.
The research team members from the U.S. NIH included N. D. Freedman, PhD and C.C. Abnet, PhD, both of whom work in the area of cancer prevention.
Sadly, for those of us who love a good plate full of Southern Fried Catfish, fried fish not only didn’t reduce early mortality, it looks like it may make it worse.
Like James Bond's famous martini recipe: Shaken not Stirred: our recommendation is Grilled not Fried. Put the fish on the grill with some wood chips such as mesquite, hickory and applewood. Link to the research here.