Nutritionists and doctors weighed in on the merits of eating fish following a Salmon sushi craze triggered by a restaurant chain’s publicity stunt.

Iced roe, shrimp and slices of raw fish are displayed in Taichung in an undated photograph. Photo copied by Chen Chien-chih, Taipei Times
Iced roe, shrimp and slices of raw fish are displayed in Taichung in an undated photograph.

More than 200 people have changed their names after sushi chain Akindo Sushiro offered free meals on Wednesday and Thursday to people named “Salmon” (guiyu, 鮭魚), while those with homophonic names were eligible for other deals.

Salmon is a healthy fish to eat with a wide variety of health benefits, Tainan Municipal Hospital said in a statement.

Salmon is rich in nutritional content, including proteins, vitamins, minerals and fatty acids, including the particularly beneficial omega-3 fatty acid, hospital nutritionist Chang Li-chuan (張麗娟) said.

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It has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties, reduces clot formation and depression, and helps prevent memory loss, she said.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in deep-sea fish, in addition to Salmon, although people should limit fish consumption to about two or three times a week to limit ingestion of heavy metals, she added.

It is recommended to alternate consuming large fish with small ones, which contain lower concentrations of heavy metals, such as mackerel and pacific saury, while vegetarians can obtain omega-3 fats from chia seeds, flax seeds and algae, she said.

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Daily servings of vegetables and milk are also an indispensable part of a healthy diet for vitamins B, C and E, as well as calcium, she said.

B vitamins help metabolize the amino acid homocysteine, while vitamins C and E are antioxidants, Chang said.

Nutritional density in meals is more important than quantity, she said, adding that people should eat until they feel about 70 to 80 percent full.

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Medical research suggests that the risk of developing rheumatism could be reduced by 35 percent by eating 100g of fatty fish such as Salmon each week, said Cheng Chieh-fu (鄭傑夫), a rheumatology and immunology specialist at the hospital.

The Mediterranean diet, consisting of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, olive oil, nuts and fish, is considered healthy by many doctors, he said.

Eating fish two or three times per week should be supplemented with chicken, eggs and dairy, and the daily intake of omega-3 fats should be about 0.21 grams, he said.

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Asia University Hospital hepatobiliary and gastroenterology doctor Tseng Sheng-en (曾晟恩) said that people with cirrhosis, diabetes or compromised immune systems should not eat raw fish.

While diners are unlikely to get sick at a good sushi restaurant, less reputable establishments might not be as careful with sanitation and hygiene, he said.

“Food poisoning from raw fish is often seen at gastroenterology clinics and emergency rooms,” he said.

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Consuming large amounts of sushi, which contains rice, could lead to surges in a person’s blood sugar level, a concern for diabetics, he added.

Source: Taiwan News

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Ericka Scott

I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in 2000. Since then, I've been on a mission to help myself and loved ones living with Diabetes and High Blood Pressure, to prepare healthy and TASTY meals. Now, I'm here to help YOU do the same!

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