The National Fisheries Institute applauded yesterday's release of the US government's new Dietary Guidance System. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its new "My Pyramid," which reinforces the importance of Americans keeping fish in their diets while maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.
NFI President John Connelly said, "Healthy nutrition is a vital issue to all Americans, especially mothers and children. This new personalized food pyramid shows Americans of all ages the benefit of including two to three servings of fish or seafood in our diets each week."
He noted the new Pyramid bases its personalized approach on the 2005 Federal Dietary Guidelines which specifically mention the tremendous health benefits of fish and seafood, such as Omega-3 fatty acids that can "reduce the risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease."
The new Pyramid emphasizes the removal from our diets the trans fats created by partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. It recommends Americans should get most of the fat they eat from the "good" polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats found in fish.
The color-coded Pyramid outlines the health benefits of fish in two shaded areas for Americans to follow. It stresses the importance of fish in its purple area as a healthy source of protein and in the slim yellow area as the primary source of "good" fats.
Research has revealed that Omega-3s can decrease triglyceride levels (bad cholesterol); slightly lower blood pressure; decrease the growth rate of plaque in blood vessels; and decrease the risk of heart arrhythmias, which are disturbances in the rhythm or rate of the heartbeat.
Omega-3s also greatly contribute to positive neurological development in children. These positive effects of essential fatty acids consumed before birth and as an infant, contribute to the growth of a child's brain and continued benefits in adulthood.
Connelly noted that the new Pyramid takes a well-rounded approach to nutrition by including regular exercise and clarifying the health benefits of fish and seafood. "Recent news from political activists has confused many Americans about the nutritious value of fish and seafood. We now have the federal government once again conveying the health benefits of seafood in today's recommendations."