More fish love

Following up on Chuck’s fish post, I just want to say I’m glad he brought up the importance of fish on this blog.

Like Chuck, I have been eating it infrequently, maybe once per month at best, mostly because I am a cheap bastard. In lieu of fish, I have been supplementing with high-quality Omega-3 fish oil (try Carlson or the Vitamin Shoppe brand), but there really is no substitute for wild-caught salmon and other cold water fish.

Most paleo circles recommend an Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio anywhere from 1:1 to 3:1. On the Standard American Diet, the ratio can typically reach 20:1. Some of the benefits of Omega-3 intake include:

  • Improved brain health
  • Improved heart health
  • Protection against Alzheimer’s
  • Protection against cancer
  • Protection against depression
  • Improved skin health
  • Protection against bowel disorders
  • Protection against arthritis

Other ways to ensure your ratio is in balance include:

  • Avoiding processed vegetable oils like canola, sunflower, safflower, corn, cottonseed, and soybean oils
  • Eating grass-fed and pasture-raised meats
  • Eating eggs from pasture-raised hens
  • Avoiding farm-raised fish

For a wealth of information on Omega-3’s, see Whole9’s Fish Oil FAQ.

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6 Responses to More fish love

  1. shirley says:

    I buy my salmon at Costco. It’s reasonably priced. Six fillets for about 17.00. I can’t abide the taste of cod liver oil, even Carlson’s, but do use the pills. Not as bad, but they have a taste and smell of fish.

    • paleojoe says:

      Hi Shirley,

      That’s a great price. Thanks for the heads up! As for the taste of the cod liver oil, I agree that the unflavored is strong, but they have flavored ones in lemon and orange that take most of the fishy taste away.

  2. Steph says:

    Could someone please advise me (a Paleo newbie) on whether freezing fish and meat greatly reduces their nutritional value or just a little? I don’t live near suppliers of grass-fed meat and if I’m to stick to Primal, I’m hoping for a little convenience 🙂 Thanks

    • paleojoe says:

      Fresh is probably marginally better nutrition-wise, but I have never heard anyone say buying grass-fed meat in bulk is problematic. I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again. It is much more cost-effective than buying a couple pounds at a time.

    • Scott Ewing says:

      Since fresh fish often takes a week to get to market, frozen fish can be a much healthier option. For the most nutritious fish, look for the words “flash frozen” on the packaging. With flash freezing, the fish is frozen within four hours of being caught. The flash freezing process lowers the temperature of the fish to minus 40 degrees. This minimizes the size of the ice crystals that form. Smaller ice crystals mean less damage to the fish. In fact, flash frozen fish is the closest thing you can get to catching it yourself.

  3. Steph says:

    Thank you both, that’s very helpful! Regards, Steph

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