Following the wake of COVID-19, many consumers are searching for ways to protect their heart health and immune system. According to the CDC, 38% of American adults have high cholesterol, which can lead to health issues such as heart disease or strokes. Incorporating U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish into your diet can help to reduce your cholesterol levels and offer a plethora of health benefits.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that the body utilizes to create hormones, vitamins and healthy cells. According to the CDC, Cholesterol travels through the bloodstream on lipoproteins that are transferred into your body through your diet, but there are two types of lipoproteins: high-density and low-density. While high-density lipoproteins absorb cholesterol and carry it to the liver to be processed, low-density lipoproteins do the opposite. If you consume too many low-density lipoproteins, cholesterol can accumulate in blood vessels, translating into high cholesterol levels that can negatively impact your health. For many years, catfish was incorrectly labeled as dangerous for those with high cholesterol levels due to the natural cholesterol levels in the fish. However, consuming catfish responsibly can reduce low-density lipoproteins in the bloodstream and support the immune system and heart health.
Catfish is low in calories and packed with lean protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. It’s particularly rich in heart-healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fats, which can reduce bad cholesterol levels in the body. In addition, this omega-3 content protects the cardiovascular system and heart from disease, as well as reduces the amount of inflammatory substances in the body. Catfish also has a high protein and vitamin B12 content, which is useful for strengthening the body’s immune system and preventing anemia. Vitamin B12 helps the body in making DNA, forming red blood cells and nourishing nerve cells.
A recent study by Ghada A. Soliman of The City University of New York suggests that cardiovascular diseases associated with high cholesterol levels are less likely to occur from low-density lipoproteins like the ones found in catfish and are more often resulting from high amounts of saturated fats. Catfish contains only trace amounts of saturated fats at 0.5g per 3.5 oz serving.
Eating a responsibly balanced diet is the most crucial part of targeting high cholesterol levels. The most optimal way to incorporate catfish into your diet is to eat it one or two-times a week, cook with a dry heat source like baking or broiling and avoid unnecessary oils. Substitute your regular cooking fats for natural vegetable oils, such as olive oil or avocado oil.
Although catfish contains cholesterol, it is not bad cholesterol that will damage the body, but the kind that has a good impact on the body for heart health, joints and brain stimulants. Check out our recipes for healthy ways to incorporate more U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish into your diet.