North American dieticians recommend seafood as part of healthy diet Published: 11 September, 2007
LEADING dieticians in North America have recommended eating fish and seafood, and particularly species which are high in omega-3 fatty acids, as part of a food-based approach to achieving fatty acid recommendations.
The American Dietetic Association (ADA) and Dietitians of Canada (DC) have joined to provide the most up-to-date, scientifically sound advice on Dietary Fatty Acids.
According to Dr Sheila Innis, DCs co-author and professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia: Its the joint position of DC and ADA that the body needs fat for many important functions, so including some fat is an important part of a healthy eating pattern.
About 20 to 30 percent of energy needs should come from fat. However, as fats and oils are high in calories, portions should be small to prevent excess weight gain.”
Of greatest importance is the type of fat one chooses, says registered dietitian Penny Kris-Etherton, ADAs co-author and distinguished professor of nutrition at Pennsylvania State University.
The healthiest choices are unsaturated fats found in liquid vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, and omega-3 unsaturated fats found in fatty fish such as salmon, sardines and shellfish.
On the other hand, saturated and trans fats should be kept to a minimum, Kris-Etherton says. Saturated fats are found in tropical oils such as coconut and palm oil, fatty meats and high-fat dairy products. Trans fats are often found in commercial baked goods, crackers and high-fat snack foods, although government and industry are working together to reduce or eliminate trans fats in foods.”
She said consumers should look on the Nutrition Facts panel of packaged food labels to find the amount of total fat, saturated and trans fats and try to choose those foods with the lowest amounts.
With more than 67,000 members, the American Dietetic Association is the nations largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals. Dietitians of Canada represents more than 5,600 dietitians across Canada and is committed to promoting the health and well-being of consumers through food and nutrition.