Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Eat fish and you're less likely to die from a sudden heart attack

People who dine on fish regularly have lower heart rates and that helps prevent sudden death from a heart attack, according to new research from the Institut Pasteur de Lille in France reported by the Ivanhoe Newswire. Sudden death or cardiac arrest happens when the heart stops unexpectedly. The secret heart-healthy ingredient is omega-3 fatty acids, which is found in abundance in cold-water fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and tuna.

The study: More than 9,700 men, who ranged in age between 50 and 59 and had no signs of heart disease, participated in the French study. The researchers followed them from 1991 to 1993, keeping records of their heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol. The men also completed questionnaires about their use of tobacco and alcohol, as well as exercise and diet, including how often they ate fish. A subgroup of 407 men also got blood tests to assess fatty acid levels.

The results: The men who ate fish twice a week or more had the lowest heart rates, averaging 65.5 beats per minute. This compares to 67.5 beats per minute for men who ate fish less than once a week. Why does heart rate matter? Lead researcher Jean Dallongeville says even small reductions in heart rate can make a big difference in the risk for sudden heart death. "These findings are particularly important because sudden death most often occurs in men without a known history of coronary heart disease," Dallongeville told Ivanhoe Newswire.

But there is a puzzler in all this: How the fatty acids reduce heart problems isn't clear. Dallongeville theorizes that the fatty acids stabilize the electrical activity of the heart's cells, which in turn lowers the heart rate. They may also assist with pumping action and blood pressure. The fish eaters had lower triglycerides, lower blood pressure, and higher levels of the "good" cholesterol.

The study findings were published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Find delicious free fish recipes at

For Valentine's day, why don't we send some salmon to the one we love?
For over 55 years, shoppers have trusted Hickory Farms to deliver their most important gifts. These are the best selections of salmon they have:

Hickory Farms 1 lb Scottish Smoked Salmon Round Party Platter
Fished from the clear, cold waters of Scotland. Each salmon is fileted by hand, then cured using only pure salt to preserve its flavor, brined to draw out the natural sugars and salts of salmon, and smoked using the smoke created by burning old oak barrels. They are gently dried and expertly sliced. Finally these treasures are vacuum sealed and shipped to you to enjoy. Simply thaw and serve on a toasted bagel with cream cheese, or impress your friends with a smoked salmon hors d'oeuvre. Offered by Hickory Farms

Hickory Farms Smoked Salmon 10 oz Gift Box
Considered the most flavorful of the salmon family, Sockeye Salmon is native to the Pacific, with the largest harvest found in Alaska. It boasts a firm texture, making it ideal for smoking. Ours is alder-wood smoked, without preservatives or artificial coloring, for a rich, rewarding flavor. Wonderful shared at brunch, as part of a buffet, or fireside with dark bread, capers, and a glass of brut champagne. This entire side of salmon is shipped unfrozen in a special vacuum-sealed pouch that keep Offered by Hickory Farms

Hickory Farms Flavored Salmon Assortment
Variety is the spice of life! The popular smoked salmon has been further enhanced in these tasty offerings. Our Flavored Smoked Salmon Assortment offers select premium Atlantic salmon, marinated in delicious seasonings to infuse them with moistness and flavor. Offered by Hickory Farms