Fish as Health Food

KJ Staff
KJ Staff

Fish is a high-protein, low-fat food that provides a range of health benefits. White-fleshed fish, in particular, is lower in fat than any other source of animal protein, and oily fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, or the "good" fats. Since the human body can’t make significant amounts of these essential nutrients, fish are an important part of the diet. Also, fish are low in the "bad" fats commonly found in red meat, called omega-6 fatty acids.

Fish is generally a healthy food source and can be safely eaten in most cases. But depending on your age and health circumstances, some people should limit the amounts of fish they eat. Consider the following:

1. For young children and women of childbearing age, excessive consumption of mercury-contaminated fish can severely impact a child's development.

2. Older women and menmay find it an acceptable tradeoff to exceed recommended seafood meal limits to increase their omega-3 intake.

3. People at high risk of cardiovascular diseasemust weigh the cancer risk of eating fish high in PCBs with the benefits of eating fish high in omega-3s, in which case the benefits of omega-3s may outweigh the cancer risk (1 in 100,000 - the level recommended by the EPA). However, these chemicals are known to cause serious health problems besides cancer, so the tradeoffs are not simple.

4. The good newsis that there are several low-contaminant, high-omega-3 seafood options available (see list above), so there’s no need to risk eating contaminated fish.

Awareness was created among the students through direct discussions with Scientists and Technical Officers of Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA) under its Tribal Sub-Plan Programme and in collaboration with State Fisheries Department, Ganjam Zone, Berhampur conducted the Tribal School Students’ Meet on “Fish as Health Food” at Sarakari Ashram School, Badapalli village of Digapahandi block in Ganjam District, Odisha CIFA, and State Fisheries Officers on the theme subject in the morning hours of the day. Around 150 officials from various line departments, ICAR-CIFA, local public representatives and few parents attended the function.

More than 350 students from seven nearby schools participated in the meet with their teachers. The students conducted a public rally in the village prior to the programme in order to spread the awareness for health benefits of eating fish.

Er. Siddharth Sankar Swain (IAS), Sub-Collector, Berhampur in his inaugural address applauded the role of CIFA for selecting such a remote place like Badapalli of Ganjam District for giving the message of “Fish as Health Food” to the public. He said that the awareness created among the school students on the theme subject is praise worthy. He said fish should be included in the mid-day meal programme of the school students. 

Dr. K.N. Mahanta, Principal Scientist & Director’s Representative, ICAR-CIFA, Bhubaneswar in his address highlighted the role of fish culture for livelihood development and nutritional security of tribal population of the country, and being the cheap animal protein source, fish should be included in the food menu of all.

A leaflet on “Fish as Health Food” in English language was released during the meet.

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