Wellbeing

Seafood is an important part of a healthy diet and becoming the food of choice for the health-conscious. There are many reasons to eat seafood. It tastes great, easy and quick to prepare, but more importantly it contains lots of vitamins, minerals and Omega 3 fatty acids or the good oils. These are great brain food and form the basic building blocks for a healthy life!

The Australian Dietary Guidelines (released in February 2013) by the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Department of Health and Ageing highlights that depending on age and sex, health benefits may be seen with consumption of 1.4 to 2.8 serves (140–280g) of fish per week for adults.

The scientific evidence supports an association between the consumption of Omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) and cardiovascular, brain and eye health.

In Australia we don't eat enough seafood. According to the last National Dietary Survey only 1 in 4 reported eating fish at least once a week. This would mean for men in particular they need to increase their consumption by more than 40% to meet recommended food group intakes.

The Australian Dietary Guidelines and Heart Foundation advise eating one or two fish based meals per week (a serve of fish is 80 to 120g cooked weight).

 

 

Super Seafood Booklet – Download

In 2012, the Australian Seafood Cooperative Research Centre released the results of comprehensive laboratory testing conducted on fresh, Australian wild and farmed seafood. This was the first major update in more than ten years, utilising more advanced testing methods than previous studies. Download the booklet from http://www.seafoodcrc.com/images/seafood/SFC_019_Super_Seafood_Consumer_Booklet_170x240_FINAL_WEB.pdf.

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What are Omega-3's?

They are essential nutrients just like the vitamins and minerals as our body cannot make them and they play many critical roles. Omega-3s are a type of polyunsaturated fat.

The Omega-3 (called ALA) found in plant sourced foods such as canola oil, linseeds and walnuts needs to be converted by the body to the long chain Omega-3s to be used effectively. Unfortunately this conversion is very inefficient so it is desirable to include long chain Omega-3s in the diet as well. These are found in oily fish, other fish and seafood and to a lesser extent in meats and eggs. Foods enriched with long chain Omega-3s are beginning to appear in supermarkets. Supplements of fish oil are rich in long chain Omega-3s.

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Sources of long chain Omega-3s

Where are they found?

Oily fish, other fish and seafood are the main sources of long chain omega-3s with eggs and lean red meat providing smaller amounts. There is a vegetarian source of Omega-3 DHA, made from marine algae, which is used in a variety of omega-3 enriched foods and infant formulas. Interestingly, it is the marine algae that fish feed on which helps make them a rich source of long chain omega-3s.

How much do you need?

To prevent a deficiency of long chain Omega-3s health authorities recommend 90mg/day for women and 160mg/day for men. However, to optimise diets for lowering chronic disease risk a much higher amount is recommended:

  • For women 430mg per day
  • For men 610mg per day

For some health conditions (such as arthritis and high blood triglyceride levels) doctors recommend higher intakes and fish oil supplements are required.

Rank Species Marketing name Scientific name Oil (%) Total Omega-3 LC PUFA (mg/150g)

1

Tuna

Slender Tuna

Allothunnus fallai

16.5

5640

2

Swordfish

Swordfish

Xiphias gladius

7.7

1530

3

Morwong

Banded Morwong

Cheilodactylus spectabilis

3.2

1230

4

Redfish

Alfonsino

Beryx splendens

5.2

1195

5

Whitebait

Whitebait

Lovettia sealii

2.6

1100

6

Trevally

Bigeye Trevally

Caranx sexfasciatus

4.7

1065

7

Whitebait

Whitebait

Galaxias maculatus

3.3

1030

8

Mackerel

Blue Mackerel

Scomberomorus astralasicus

3.8

760

9

Australian Bonito

Australian Bonito

Sarda australis

1.5

650

10

Gemfish

Gemfish

Rexea solandri

2.6

640

11

Rudderfish

Rudderfish

Centrolophus niger

14.4

620

12

Mackerel

Spanish Mackerel

Scomberomorus commerson

3

575

13

Sweep

Sweep

Scorpis lineolatus

1.3

555

14

Australian Hering

Australian Hering

Arripus georgianus

1.3

540

15

Grouper

Western Blue Grouper

Achoerodus gouldii

3.6

540

16

Boarfish

Bigspine Boarfish

Pentaceros decacanthus

1.5

530

17

Australian Salmon

Australian Salmon

Arripis trutta

1.1

505

18

Mackerel

Spotted Mackerel

Scomberomorus munroi

1.2

500

19

Mackerel

School Mackerel

Scomberomorus queenslandicus

1.1

490

20

Mackerel

Grey Mackerel

Scomberomorus semifasciatus

1.1

490

21

Tailor

Tailor

Pomatomus saltatrix

1.3

490

22

Emperor

Threadfin emperor

Lethrinus genivittatus

2.6

490

23

Redfish

Bight Redfish

Centroberyx gerrardi

0.5

485

24

Australian Sardine

Australian Sardine

Sardinops neopilchardus

1.2

470

25

Trevalla

Blue eye trevalla

Schedophilus labyrinthica

1.3

470

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