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Did You Know?: Japanese Men Have Healthy Hearts

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Air date: August 10, 2008


Did You know?
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Wishard Health Services

Did you Know? is presented by Wishard Health Services, becoming Eskenazi Health in 2014.

It is true: Although they are heavy smokers, Japanese men have lower rates of heart disease than white or Japanese-American men.

Why? It may be because Japanese living in Japan eat a lot of fish -- around 100 grams a day.

You've probably heard that omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in oily fish like salmon and albacore tuna, are good for the heart. A new study speculates that one key to Japanese heart health is a diet that's full of omega-3 fish and low on saturated fats.

The trick, it seems, is eating fish regularly. Many Japanese eat it every day. Eating fish steadily only for a month or two and then quitting wonít help.

Based on this and other studies, doctors recommend eating around two helpings of fatty fish per week as a way of warding off heart disease. If you already have heart disease, at least one gram a day is a smart move.

But what if you canít stand fish? There are always fish oil pills -- but make sure that each capsule contains at least one gram of omega 3s.

And now you know.