HeConnection-Food FactsWild salmon can be a beneficial food for people with diabetes. High in omega-3s, an essential fatty acid that reduces inflammation, lowers blood sugar and reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Wild salmon helps reduce inflammation. Chronic low-grade inflammation is linked to insulin resistance and high levels of glucose, both serious problems for people with diabetes or at risk of developing diabetes. Omega-3s in the fat of cold-water fish help your body produce anti-inflammatory resolvins from EPA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which help lower blood sugar levels.

Wild salmon lowers triglyceride levels. High triglycerides contribute to metabolic syndrome, a combination of conditions that increase the risk for diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease. In a 6-month study of overweight adults published in the journal Nutrition, those who ate fish high in omega-3s were able to drop their triglyceride levels by almost 7%.

Wild salmon helps prevent obesity. Excess weight is directly linked to insulin resistance. If your body is unable to respond to insulin, that puts you on the fast track to developing full-blown diabetes. Omega-3s contain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which stimulates the secretion of a hormone (leptin) that tells the brain when the stomach feels full. Without that signal, it is easy to overeat; chronic overeating leads, of course, to weight gain and obesity, a serious risk factor for developing diabetes and an impediment to overcoming diabetes.

Why wild salmon is best. Farmed salmon is full of inflammatory omega-6s and, to be blunt, it is also highly toxic. Researchers from Indiana University found that farmed salmon contained high levels of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) compounds, possibly from contaminated feed. PBDE compounds, used as a flame retardant additive in electronics and foam-based furniture, are endocrine disrupters that negatively affect reproduction.

Farmed salmon also contain dioxin, a known human carcinogen implicated in cardiovascular disease and diabetes. According to the Midwest Center for Environmental Science and Public Policy, farmed salmon contains between 3 and 10 times more dioxin than found in wild salmon.

Many nutritionists question whether the health benefits of eating any omega-3-rich cold-water fish, wild or farmed, outweigh the health risks, because of widespread mercury contamination in the oceans, a product of acid rain caused by decades of coal emissions. When deciding to add omega-3-rich salmon to your diet, it’s crucial to select the best, purest, wildest salmon you can find. Right now, that’s Alaskan wild salmon.

Health-e-Solutions comment: After blood glucose levels have stabilized, we think eating wild caught Alaskan salmon about once per week – not more than that. Because all meat is acidic, it is best to limit it to wild caught Alaskan salmon once per week. If the package says fresh Atlantic, it’s farmed. There are no commercial fisheries left for wild Atlantic salmon.

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