How Does Salmon Affect Cholesterol?

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Salmon can be regarded as a tasty, hearty fish. Salmon can be cooked in many different ways from salmon patties to salmon steaks; stuffed salmon or smoked. But one other benefit that salmon provides is that it helps fight cholesterol. This article will explain just how the upstream fish can push your cholesterol downstream.

Good and Bad Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a chemical that can be found both naturally inside your body and in foods you eat. Cholesterol’s role is to help your cells stay fluid and allow molecules to pass through them more freely. There are two main types of cholesterol: the “good” cholesterol known as HDL; and the “bad” LDL. LDL is considered bad because it likes to bind to your arteries and help form plaque. Too much build-up can lead to a heart attack.

That’s why it’s important to not only lower the amount of LDL in your diet but to also add nutrients that will help lower existing amounts. Those nutrients can be found in Salmon.

Salmon and Omega-3

It has long been recommended that eating fish should be part of a healthy diet. Salmon are no exception. Salmon are high in protein, low in fats, low in salts, and can add important nutrients like potassium and calcium to your diet. The biggest benefit salmon provides is high quantities of Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

These Omega-3 Acids, docosahexaenoic (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are known to reduce blood pressure and improve blood circulation. Improved circulation means bringing more HDL to your artery walls, therefore pushing away the LDL cholesterol more effectively. Omega-3 also reduces triglycerides, which cause a narrowing of the arteries. Clinical studies on medscape.com showed that intake of Omega-3 also raised HDL production.

Although there is no specific recommended daily allowance by the FDA, many nutritionists agree that at least one gram of Omega-3 per day will lower your blood pressure. One serving of salmon can contain almost 1000 milligrams of Omega-3. If you decide to become a salmon fan and add it to your daily diet, be aware of how much you eat. Taking more than 3 grams of Omega-3 in a day can thin your blood too much, lowering your blood pressure to dangerous levels. In addition to salmon, flaxseed oil and soy beans are also known to carry high levels of Omega-3. Be sure to balance your diet accordingly, and consult your physician before changing your diet.

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