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Home > Wellness > Health Library > Coronary Artery Disease: Eating Fish to Lower Your Risk
Eating fish may help lower your risk of coronary artery disease. As part of a heart-healthy diet, eat at least two servings of fish each week. Oily fish, which contain
omega-3 fatty acids, are best for your heart. These fish include salmon,
mackerel, lake trout, herring, and sardines.1
In people who have heart problems, omega-3 fatty acids may help lower
their risk of death.
Omega-3 fatty acids also lower the risk of sudden cardiac death and
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend that women who may become
pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children should not eat shark, swordfish,
king mackerel, or tilefish, because these fish have higher mercury
concentrations. But for middle-aged and older people, the protection fish offer
the heart outweighs the risks of eating these fish. Eating a variety of fish
may reduce the amount of mercury you eat.2, 3
If you have high triglycerides, your doctor may prescribe an omega-3 fatty acids medicine (such as Lovaza or Vascepa). This medicine is a highly concentrated form of omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower triglyceride levels. This medicine is used in combination with diet and lifestyle changes for high triglycerides.
American Heart Association (2006). Diet and lifestyle
recommendations revision 2006. Circulation, 114(1):
82–96. [Erratum in Circulation, 114(1): e27.]
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2004). What you
need to know about mercury in fish and shellfish: 2004 EPA and FDA advice for
women who might become pregnant, women who are pregnant, nursing mothers, young
children. Available online:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2011). Mercury Levels in Commercial Fish and Shellfish. Available online: http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/Product-SpecificInformation/Seafood/FoodbornePathogensContaminants/Methylmercury/ucm115644.htm.
September 21, 2012
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Colleen Gobert, PhD, RD - Registered Dietitian
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