Wednesday, April 13


This is a first, at least in my experience: An article on the benefits of Omega-3s that gives double billing to a plant food along with fish. More on the fish thing below, but another attention-grabbing thing is that it's not flax or flax oil, but soy oil that's touted for its Omega-3-based heart-healthiness. First I've heard of that... but I don't get out much.

As to the fish itself, once again, it does contain beneficial substances, but usually pretty significant harmful ones as well, in the same place - the oily fat - unlike plant sources of this same beneficial fat. And the relative benefits of the Mediterranean diet - as well as fish consumption in general - couldn't come as much from the inclusion of fish as they do from the exclusion of even worse animal products, and the inclusion of whole plant foods. That's because despite the wide variety in our diets and attendant health, the per-capita fish consumption of the US and Italy (where it seems all Mediterranean-diet stories are based) is practically the same: They eat 23 kg of fish per capita, we eat 21 kg. You're not going to tell me the health benefits of that diet are locatedin the 2-kg difference, are you? Let's not kid ourselves: It's cutting out as much meat and dairy as possible that brings you the life-extending goodness.

NOTE: I got the per-capita numbers from two different sources, as I couldn't find one page on the Web that compared them for the same time period side-by-side. If you know of such a page with more exact information, please feel free to pass it along.

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