- Question from Max: What's the difference between wild salmon and farm-raised salmon?
Max, both wild and farm-raised salmon are rich in Omega-3 fats. They are equally rich sources. The concern with salmon are contaminants called PCBs. In a recent study, farm-raised salmon was said to have much higher levels of PCBs than wild salmon, but it was looking at salmon from Puget Sound area which does have a higher level of PCBs. Unfortunately, PCBs are unavoidable in our world. Farm-raised salmon from Chile has fewer PCBs in it than that from Norway. We encourage our patients to eat salmon, wild if possible.
PCB content can be more concentrated in the skin so by removing the skin, that removes over 50 percent of the PCBs. Eating farm or wild salmon, no more than four ounces three times a week, because we don't live in a pristine world and we need to be concerned with the chemicals in it. We tailor that to the individual when appropriate.
There are other fish options that are high in Omega-3, so salmon isn't the only choice. There was a survey showing that larger national chains of stores have farm-raised salmon that is quite clean. So there is some interest and concern in response to consumer demand. But it's important to know you can get better farm-raised fish in some health-food stores.
Once again, we're talking about eating the best you can. If you go to a restaurant and order salmon, please enjoy dinner and don't agonize over what's in each mouthful. Eat the healthiest foods you can, and take pleasure in them.
- Judith Sachs For the carnivores in the audience, can you talk about organic meat, and are some sources better than others?
- David Grotto In perspective of an overall diet, we prefer more of a plant-based diet. But for those who want to consume meat, we recommend leaner choices and organic is a preference if possible. If it's not available, then leaner cuts are better because the Omega-6 fats are less. High animal protein in the diet can have correlation with increased risk of different cancers.
- Penny Block It's preferable to have a little meat or poultry with your vegetables, rather than a little vegetable with your meat or poultry. A stir-fry that uses small pieces of meat or poultry might be the best way to go.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Buying Healthy Food and Drink featured Penny B. Block, M.A., David W. Grotto, R.D., L.D., and moderator Judith Sachs answering your questions about finding, buying, and preparing the healthiest food and drink for people with breast cancer and their families.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in July 2005.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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