JEFF TIEDEMAN: Omega-3 fatty acids benefit healthEarlier this year, Therese and I set out to eat fish or seafood that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids at least once a week as part of our overall goal of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Earlier this year, Therese and I set out to eat fish or seafood that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids at least once a week as part of our overall goal of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Up until a month or so ago, we were pretty successful. But as many of you know, goals involving food can be tricky.
Without getting into too many details — although I’ll say gardening, coaching baseball and work can be quite time-consuming — we’ve been coming up a little short of achieving what we had set out to do in January. Often, it’s been easier making homemade soup with canned or frozen vegetables from last year’s garden.
Of course, it’s been well-documented that omega-3s greatly benefit the hearts of healthy people and those at high risk of — or who have — cardiovascular disease. (Cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and heart attacks, are our nation’s No. 1 killer.)
Studies have shown that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help lower triglycerides and LDL cholesterol (the bad one) and increase HDL cholesterol (the good one). They also may act as an anticoagulant to prevent blood from clotting. Several other studies promote omega-3s in lowering of blood pressure.
In fact, the American Heart Association recommends eating baked or grilled fish such as salmon, lake trout, albacore tuna, sardines, herring and halibut — all of which are high in two kinds of omega-3s — at least two times a week (3.5-ounce servings). Besides being a good source of omega-3s, these don’t have the high saturated fat that many meat products do.
Not totally remiss
We haven’t been missing out totally on the fish, though. Most recently, we had some grilled Lake Michigan salmon — once again courtesy of a friend, Pat Healey, who each summer heads to the second-largest of the Great Lakes for some deep-water fishing.
I had placed the fillets in a container with some Lawry’s Mediterranean Herb and White Wine Marinade the day before we cooked them, and the result was probably the best fish I’ve ever eaten. (I usually make my own marinades, but this store-bought one is a keeper. It is one in a line of more than a dozen made by the company. It features fragrant herbs, including basil and oregano, along with white wine, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and sun-dried tomato.)
Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to have relatives such as my cousin Paul Hendrickson, who lives in Alaska, and friends like Pat who have shared their catch with me. As you know, seafood can be a bit spendy.
And it seems as if my luck isn’t about to change soon, either.
At a baseball tournament a couple of weeks ago in Fargo, I ran into an old friend, Penny Capistran of Grand Forks, who was watching grandson from Valley City, N.D., play. She asked me if I still made homemade vegetable soup.
Years ago, I had shared some of it with her and her husband, Ron. Penny said she loved it and had a deal for me.
Her son, Derek, is a chef in Alaska, and she is going soon for a visit and will be bringing back salmon and halibut and would like to trade some for soup.
It’s not exactly soup-making weather, but I can make an exception.
Tiedeman is food editor at the Herald. Reach him at (701) 780-1136 or toll-free at (800) 477-6572, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.