Vegan Health ArticlesFish and Shellfish
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From Spring 2004

The Issue

The Fats Subcommittee of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, led by Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton, has recommended to the full committee that the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans include a guideline that Americans include 8 to 9 ounces of fatty fish per week in their diets, presumably to achieve adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids and reduce the risk of heart disease. Although diets rich in fatty fish, as compared to red meat, have been shown to be associated with less cardiovascular risk, fish and shellfish often contain unsafe levels of contaminants. Fish is also high in animal protein, and often, in saturated fat and cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids are readily available in plant foods that do not have these attendant disadvantages.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a joint statement warning pregnant women, women who may become pregnant, breastfeeding women, and children to limit the consumption of fatty fish because of the potential effects of mercury and organochlorine toxicity. Given the high levels of mercury, organochlorines, and other environmental toxins that accumulate in fish, and in view of our nationís already animal-protein-heavy diets, a recommendation to consume two to three portions of fish weekly is likely to do far more harm than good.

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We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health. We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice. We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found. Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body. If you have a health problem, see your own physician.