To do so, researchers examined previous research that explored the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids from seafood. It can decrease the possibility of abnormal heart rhythms and slow the growth of fatty deposits that clog arteries. It can also lower high triglyceride levels, which has been associated with diabetes and kidney disease.
While the AHA has previously evaluated past studies on fish, the more recent analyses have led the organization to "come up with a new statement on the beneficial effects of seafood in preventing not just heart disease, but stroke, heart failure, sudden cardiac death and congestive heart failure," it said in a release. The last statement was in 2002.
» RELATED: Got heart disease? You may have a better chance of survival if married
The AHA recommends that adults eat two 3.5-ounce servings of non-fried fish each week, which is more than Americans typically eat.
Furthermore, it said the best types of omega-3 fatty fish for good heart health include salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna. Cod, catfish, tilapia and shrimp also contain omega-3s but not in as high amounts.
“Omega-3s get into cell membranes, which is important for signaling inside and outside of cells: Cell communication is very important for a properly functioning heart,” the authors said.
The advisory noted some fish, such as shark and swordfish, have mercury, which can harm fetal brain development and negatively affect cognition in young children. However, they believe “eating fish is so much better overall for the environment than eating red meat.”
“For adults eating a serving or two of fish a week,” they wrote, “the benefits of fish are likely at least fiftyfold more than any concerns over other compounds that may be in the fish.”
» RELATED: You may be able to better avoid heart attacks with this common snack, study says