Why Eating Fish Improves Your Cholesterol

There is no doubt that eating fish is good for you. It is highly dense in nutrition, low in calories and high in protein and an array of vitamins and minerals. There are many health benefits that come from frequent consumption of fish. Studies have shown that people who have at least three servings of fish per week are less likely to gain weight, have better skin quality and are less likely to become depressed. But the most important benefit from eating fish is in its ability to help lower cholesterol levels, thereby prevent  heart disease.

There are two main ways that fish reduce blood cholesterol.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The most prized nutrient found in fish is the omega-3 fatty acids, more commonly known as fish oil. Though it is also found in olives, avocados and other seeds and nuts, the omega-3 fatty acids from fish (DHA and EPA) have the most significant health benefits. They can improve brain function, prevent cardiovascular diseases, prevent cancer and strengthen immunity.

One way that fish oil can prevent heart disease is by its ability to improve the blood profile:

  • Increasing HDL: Studies have shown that fish oil can effectively increase your high-density lipoproteins (HDL). These are the “good” cholesterol that travel through your bloodstream and clean out the triglycerides and “bad” cholesterol deposits from your arteries. Increasing the concentration of HDL in your blood can drastically decrease the chances of atherosclerosis.
  • Reducing non-HDL and triglycerides: Non-HDLs are all non-high density lipoproteins that are prone to form plaque. They are the “bad” cholesterol. The non-HDLs and triglycerides are the culprits that lead to strokes and other heart disease. There is strong evidence to support the idea that high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids in blood leads to reduced levels of triglycerides and all other forms of cholesterol.

By raising the level of “good” cholesterol and reducing the amount of “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides, omega-3 fatty acids can contribute immensely towards better cardiovascular health.

Pantothenic Acid

Pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, is an essential vitamin that you need to acquire through your diet. Your body needs this vitamin to convert food into energy, and it is also needed to produce hormones and neurotransmitters.

Studies have shown that three derivatives of this pantothenic acid–panthenol, phosphopantethine and pantethine–can effectively lower the triglyceride level and the low-density lipoproteins (LDL) in your blood and liver. Thus having a high level of pantothenic acid in your blood can also significantly improve your blood profile.

Cold-water fish are one of the richest sources for pantothenic acid. On average, 2.5 ounces of fish supply you with 3.0 milligrams of pantothenic acid, which is 20% of your daily need.


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