Transcript of WTOP Radio Interview by Mark Lewis and Deborah Feinstein with Sally Squires, MS
Aired March 28, 2014
Mark Lewis: 10:11 on WTOP we continue hearing about the health advantages of eating foods that are rich in fish oils such as omega 3s. But now we’re hearing about new evidence that they likely don’t reduce the risk of heart disease as promoted. So how should we interpret this new data?
Earlier, Deb Feinstein and I spoke with Sally Squires creator of the Lean Plate Club and a blogger for EverydayHealth.com
Sally Squires, MS: The thing to remember is that the Dietary Guidelines, the American Heart Association, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute have all looked at this issue and they’re the ones who say, “Look eat fish just twice a week two servings.” So I think that these new studies, which are very interesting, don’t really countermand that. But they show that science is an evolving process. And so it’s good that the scientists continue to look at these questions
Deborah Feinstein: Talk to us a little bit more about what the study says in terms of omega 3s and omega 6 rich foods and whether or not supplements can make up for the omega 3s that perhaps you’re not getting in your diet?
Sally Squires, MS; Yeah, it’s a really interesting question. And so one of the studies, which was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, looked at they actually looked at multiple studies. They looked at 72 studies. This is something that’s kind of complicated and known as a meta-analysis. But basically what it is is a way to see if can you tease out as new facts. And the question was did people do as well when they ate fish and so and omega 3 supplements in terms of preventing heart disease? Now those researchers thought maybe not but there is a lot of other research that says that eating fish twice a week is a really good thing to help prevent an irregular heartbeat beat that often leads to a heart attack–and perhaps it’s good for your brain. It’s good for your joints. So there are a lot of reasons to eat those two servings of fish.
Mark Lewis: Hearing this is one appropriate interpretation that fish probably better for you than a hamburger, so you can still go with that, but it may not give us all the benefits we thought.
Sally Squires: I think what you can take home from this and Penny Kris-Etherton, who is a researcher at Penn State and works with the American Heart Association said this as well. Bottom line is there are so many studies that say that fish is good for you and omega 3s and omega 6s –which are another kind of those healthy fats –that they’re good for you that it’s probably too soon to change all this great advice with one particular stud. But it’s certainly worth a closer look. And I think it comes back to what mom and grandma always told us is that everything in moderation. So you don’t have to go with expensive fish you don’t have to pay you know a lot of money. You can sardines are a terrific way to go. Certain light tuna are good for everybody. So there are all different kinds of fish that you can get that are just it’s a good thing to eat for all kinds of reasons.
Deborah Feinstein: Do you think there we will see as a result of this information any changes to recommendations about what to eat and how much?
Sally Squires: I think it’s too early to tell. And while science does evolve it it’ll take multiple studies like this to really change the recommendations. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee meeting was just last week. We’re in the process of setting up the 2015 guidelines which is how we should all healthy people age 2 and older should eat. And I suspect they may take a closer look at this and that will help us now.
Sally Squires, creator of the Lean Plate Club, is also a blogger with www.everydayhealth.com