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CSIRO scientists have discovered that omega-3 fatty acids, found in high doses in fish, help keep cholesterol levels and blood pressure down. Three to five serves of fish each week is recommended for a health benefit. You don’t need to always have fresh fish: tinned fish in oil and frozen fish are also full of omega-3. If you’re pregnant, planning pregnancy or breastfeeding, choose fish with low mercury levels (see list below). Don’t avoid fish entirely, as omega-3 is important for the development of the central nervous system in babies, before and after birth. According to the NSW Food Authority, it’s generally considered safe for everyone, including pregnant women, to consume two to three serves of tuna or salmon a week – canned or fresh. Canned tuna tends to have lower mercury levels than other tuna because canned species are usually smaller and less than one year old. Fish oil supplements are not a major source of mercury so there is no recommendation to restrict their consumption. See your doctor about questions regarding fish in your diet, especially if you have a medical condition. Fish with low mercury levels that are also high in omega-3 fatty acids include: * Mackerel * Silver Warehou * Atlantic Salmon * Canned Salmon and canned tuna in oil * Herrings * Sardines Other seafood with low mercury levels include: * Prawns, lobsters and bugs * Squid and octopus * Snapper * Salmon and trout * Trevally * Whiting * Herring and anchovy * Bream * Mullet * Garfish For more information about fish in your diet see: * http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/consumer/pregnancyanswers.asp# whichfishhavelowerlevelsofmercuryandcansafelybeincluded * http://www.csiro.au/resources/ps8k.html * http://www.fda.gov/fdac/reprints/mercury.html

Published: May 28, 2008 4:41pm

Last updated: May 28, 2008 4:41pm

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