Dietary Guidelines for Americans Published

SEAFOOD IS HEALTH FOOD

The USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion final report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee was published June 15.  The report calls for increased seafood intake and addresses the pregnancy/breastfeeding recommendation issue.

Moderate evidence shows consumption of two servings of seafood per week (4 oz per serving), which provide an average of 250 mg per day of long-chain n-3 fatty acids, is associated with reduced cardiac mortality from CHD or sudden death in persons with and without CVD.

Moderate evidence indicates increased maternal dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids, in particular docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), from two servings of seafood per week is beneficial. During pregnancy and lactation seafood consumption is associated with increased DHA levels in breast milk and improved infant health, such as better vision and learning development.

Moderate evidence shows health benefits derived from the consumption of a variety of cooked seafood in amounts recommended above outweigh the risks associated with methyl mercury and persistent organic pollutants exposure, even among women who may become or who are pregnant, nursing mothers, and children ages 12 and younger.

Overall, consumers can safely eat at least 12 oz. of a variety of cooked seafood per week. Women who may become or who are pregnant, nursing mothers, and children ages 12 and younger can safely consume a variety of cooked seafood in amounts recommended in this report.

Contributed by David Green

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