Fishing for a Longer Life: Learn What Eating More Fish Can Do for You – and Enjoy This Delicious, Heart Healthy Recipe

July 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Food & Recipes, Health & Fitness, Wellness

Fishing For Life

Once again, we bring you a healthful and tasty article from guest author Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN, who is a leading diet, nutrition, and fitness expert, as well as the National Association of Baby Boomer Women’s Heart Healthy Lifestyle Expert. She frequently serves as a  nutrition and health spokesperson on national television, radio and is often quoted in print.

Brill specializes in cardiovascular disease prevention. Her first book, Cholesterol Down: Ten Simple Steps to Lower Your Cholesterol in Four Weeks–Without Prescription Drugs has been widely endorsed. You can learn more about her on her here:

Fishing for a Longer Life: Learn What Eating More Fish Can Do for You – and Enjoy This Delicious, Heart Healthy Recipe

by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN
It’s called the “Eskimo factor.”

As early as 1944, scientists began to document that Greenland Eskimos had virtually no heart disease. This phenomenon occurred despite the fact that the Eskimos ate a diet low in fruits, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates. But what they did subsist on was a diet loaded with oily seafood such as whale and seal meat — providing the Eskimos with a huge daily dose of fish oil (about 15 grams), rich in the superbly heart-healthy marine omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Eating fish is key to heart health because it is human beings’ primary source of the cardio-protective fatty acids known to enhance human health: the twin polyunsaturated, or “long-chain” omega-3 fats eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Studies show that people who eat a fish-rich diet are less likely to suffer a fatal heart attack and have a greater longevity.
Salmon and other seafood is one of the eight key food groups – along with extra virgin olive oil, leafy greens, figs and other fruits, lentils and other legumes, walnuts and flaxseeds, oatmeal and other whole grains, and red wine — that are part my plan (detailed in Prevent a Second Heart Attack) to reverse heart disease, or build good heart health to hopefully avoid heart troubles. Dark chocolate is a bonus food in this plan. Yeah!

Omega-3 fish fat can protect against heart disease by targeting the three key areas of heart disease vulnerability, medically termed the “trilogy of vulnerability:”

  • Vulnerable Plaque — the root cause of most heart attacks
  • Vulnerable Heart Muscle — prone to electrical disturbances of the heart (arrhythmias); and
  • Vulnerable Blood — prone to form blood clots.

Daily intake of fish fat can boost your heart disease defense system by:

  • Decreasing progression of and stabilizing vulnerable plaque
  • Reducing your risk of sudden death by protecting against arrhythmias
  • Lowering your triglyceride level
  • Fighting inflammation
  • And thinning your blood, omega-3 fats make platelets less likely to stick together and form clots

One additional advantage of frequent consumption of fish in lieu of other types of animal protein is that fish is the perfect diet food –loaded with protein but low in saturated fat and calories. Hence, eating your seafood prescription will also help you control your weight, and being overweight is another major risk factor that ups your odds of a heart attack.

Here Are a Few Ideas to Help You Increase Your Consumption of Healthy Seafood:

  • Go to your local fish monger and be sure to buy really fresh fish — fish that doesn’t have a fishy smell. Don’t be shy about asking to smell the fish before purchasing. I buy fish that’s right off the boat — in bulk — take it home, cut it into individual servings, wrap in wax paper, label, and freeze.
  • If you eat out, frequent a steak house, where you can almost always find salmon or a tuna steak on the menu. Just be sure to order it grilled and simply dressed with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
  • Consider a can of water-packed albacore tuna served over your greens for lunch with olive oil vinaigrette — instead of a sandwich of cold cuts.
  • Contrary to popular belief, both deep-sea cold water fish and freshwater fish from cold waters (such as lake herring, lake trout, and whitefish) are good sources of healthful omega-3 fatty acids. Buy them fresh or frozen; bake, grill, or broil and not deep-fry the fish for maximum heart health benefits.
  • Use of seafood as your protein source of choice is a superbly heart-healthy strategy. You may be surprised at how delicious simply prepared, fresh fish can be. Chef Mario Spina’s Grilled Swordfish, Chef Kern Mattei’s Steamed Red Snapper with Black Bean Sauce, and Chef Julie Korhumel’s Steamed Halibut and Fresh Vegetables in Parchment Paper and Chef Keith Blauschild’s Tuna Romesco are some the delicious recipes in Prevent a Second Heart Attack that feature fish and are sure to please the palate.


Chef Keith Blauschild’s Tuna Romesco
A meaty tuna steak topped with a fresh, spicy, almond-studded tomato sauce.

Four 6-ounce tuna steaks
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 plum tomato, cut in half and seeds removed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup blanched almonds
1/4 cup sun-dried tomato
1/4 cup chopped roasted red pepper
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

Season tuna with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to cook. Roughly chop the tomato. In a skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and almonds and sauté until the garlic turns golden but not too brown. Add the plum tomato, sun-dried tomato, roasted red pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook until the tomato is soft. Let cool. Place the tomato mixture in a blender and puree until smooth. Remove to a bowl and stir in the vinegar and parsley. To cook the tuna, spray the fillets lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Heat a nonstick skillet or grill to high heat. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side depending on thickness and desired degree of doneness.

Serves 4

NUTRITION per 6-ounce tuna and 1/4 cup sauce:
Calories: 285
Fat: 10 g (< 1 g EPA, < 1 g DHA, <1 g ALA)
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 77 mg
Sodium: 307 mg
Carbohydrate: 6 g
Dietary Fiber: 2 g
Sugars: 2 g
Protein: 43 g


18 Responses to “Fishing for a Longer Life: Learn What Eating More Fish Can Do for You – and Enjoy This Delicious, Heart Healthy Recipe”

  1. New Article on the Boomer Lifestyle Site! « Dr. Janet on July 6th, 2011 9:14 pm
  2. Anne Holmes on July 6th, 2011 9:55 pm

    For more from Dr. Janet Brill check out her posts on the NABBW website.

  3. Rich@artificial grass on July 9th, 2011 11:36 am

    Interesting read, though I think the fact I like fish deep fried the most probably cancels out the health benefits for me!

  4. Carol@Group Travel on July 30th, 2011 3:36 pm

    A sure way to increase your seafood intake is by moving to the Pacific Northwest! 😉

    I’ve been here 4 days and have had sturgeon, salmon, clam chowder, and halibut! I love it out here and think I’ll expand my seafood horizons when I get home.

    Thanks for the tuna recipe; it looks delicious!

  5. High-Fiber Diets Are Good for Women’s Hearts - DIET AND EXERCISES – DIET AND EXERCISES on August 8th, 2011 1:33 pm

    […] degree of doneness. Serves 4. NUTRITION per 6-ounce tuna and 1/4 cup sauce: Calories: 285 … .. Share and […]

  6. Michelle@Weight Loss Support on August 16th, 2011 1:27 pm

    I love seafood, but the area I live in has a severe shortage of quality seafood restaurants. It has always baffled me that more restaurants don’t focus on seafood, because I know many people in my area with the same complaint.

    I appreciate the recipe for tuna steak. The only time I’ve tried it was on a vacation at the beach. I’m hoping that I can find it being sold somewhere nearby.

  7. Magento upload module on September 7th, 2011 5:25 am

    Very helpful article and great recipe. I always knew that sea food is very helpful, but I did not know what exactly she has a positive effect. I like sea food and now I will try to eat it more often.

  8. Ana @ Como Hacer Un Ensayo on September 19th, 2011 10:26 am

    The recipe seems absolutely delicious. My kids and my husband don’t really like fish that much. Actually, it’s not that they don’t like it, they simply prefer red meat. Therefore, I made it a challenge. We go shopping and we try to find fish that we have never eaten before. If we don’t find it, we have to settle for the one we have eaten the least number of times. Kids love the game.

  9. Jenny@Candida Diet on September 21st, 2011 2:09 am

    I’ve always liked eating fish but never actually end up eating it that much. Your tips look helpful, I might have to trade my salad rolls at lunch for the tuna on greens like you recommend.

  10. Dan@Spanish Airport Car Hire on November 9th, 2011 7:32 am

    Looks like a lovely recipe – I must try it. Another cheap and convenient way to maintain one’s intake of fish and healthy Omega-3 oils is to keep a stock of small tins of mackeral. They are cheap and make an excellent lunch with a salad or even on their own.

  11. Hennesy on December 5th, 2011 8:07 am

    I try to buy fish for my family at least 3 times a week to get the healthy Omega-3 and other types of fish oil. You can really make some nice dishes out of quality fish.

  12. John @Real Estate Vancouver WA on February 7th, 2012 11:24 am

    Here in Vancouver we often can get excellent fresh salmon caught either in the ocean or the Columbia River. A new variation I love is Salmon Fish Tacos!

  13. Peter Bloch@Bloch Healing Cheshire and Manchester on February 12th, 2012 1:25 pm

    When I was growing up fish never entered the house except at Passover when it was bottled Gefilte fish, hastily swallowed down, the taste disguised with copious amounts of beet horseradish. Fish was regarded as an unpleasant food to be avoided. As far as I can tell I have never suffered for what must have been a lack of Omega 3 oil, but all of the publicity has persuaded me to experiment with fish. Tuna is, for me, the most palatable of the oily fishes, so I have passed your recipe on to my wife who is always eager to try something new! Thank you.

  14. Henry G on March 20th, 2012 11:27 am

    Any recommendations for those of us who don’t like the taste or consistency of fish? I know it’s good for me, but I just can’t eat it. Salmon is the absolute worst!

  15. Stacy Cummings@Insurance for Your Home on March 22nd, 2012 3:40 pm

    Maybe after reading this article I will be able to justify buying more fish. I’ve never had seal meat but it sounds good.

  16. chris@fiestaware colors on March 24th, 2012 9:16 pm

    Wow… Thanks for the great recipe. I saw they had great tuna steaks at Costco today for great price too. Maybe I’ll go back early in the morning and get some for dinner tomorrow night.

    I just read that eat spicy food (like making that sauce on top of the tuna spicy) helps you eat less.

    Thanks again for the great recipe.

  17. High-Fiber Diets Are Good for Women’s Hearts | | Diet and ExercisesDiet and Exercises on May 18th, 2012 11:48 pm

    […] degree of doneness. Serves 4. NUTRITION per 6-ounce tuna and 1/4 cup sauce: Calories: 285 … .. Share and Enjoy: This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← How is […]

  18. Blair@How to Wake Up Early on June 11th, 2012 2:33 pm

    Very interesting. I didn’t used to like fish but now I’m starting to like it more and more, and I guess it’s a good thing too! I’ll have to try that recipe as well, it looks very good. Thank you for sharing! 🙂