Category Archives: Health
There are many times when people feel that lawyers are something akin to con artists.They picture them always dressed in sharp suits walking around corridors looking for their next victim. They live in palatial homes where they enjoy the money they have gotten through questionable means.
This is hardly close to what an average lawyer does. While there are quite a number of lawyers who are unscrupulous, many are honest, passionate and dedicated in helping their clients win the case. They actually have an important duty that is beneficial to the society. Here’s how.
Permanent Disabling Injuries
You have had an accident that has left you bedridden or hospitalized. You can hardly move because you are in pain. How do you begin the process of seeking compensation? The only person at home who can do that for you, is busy taking care of you and running your errands on your behalf.
This is where personal attorneys come in. They help you file a case that you can present in court and win against businesses and corporations which may equally have financial muscle to hire a lawyer and counter your claims.
The work of the personal injury attorney is not easy, he has to look for the evidence that will help support the claim. He has to work fast to ensure you get the compensation sooner rather than later. He will run up and down to find police reports and medical records that he can present when your case is presented in court.
Sometimes people get illnesses that are as a result of malpractices from unscrupulous medical practitioners. Some people have the misconception that complaints against medical malpractices are frivolous and that it is an easy way to get money.
However, statistical evidence shows that the majority of such cases are actually very serious. Some cases have led to death and permanent disability. Personal injury attorneys contribute to society by using their expertise to help the victims of such malpractices get compensation. An average person may find it hard to represent themselves. The rules and laws can be complex. It requires an attorney experienced in these matters to file a solid case.
Exposure to Toxic Waste
Lawyers can help workers get compensation, if they are exposed to toxic waste from the companies they work for. This can be a very complex case that is multi dimensional. Most of the big companies will prevent scrutiny by using legal means to prevent the collection of evidence. It also requires some scientific knowledge to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the company’s negligence lead to the exposure to toxic waste. Big companies have been known to put up a very spirited fight to avoid paying for compensation. However, personal injury attorneys have won such cases in some of those instances.
Taking on Insurance Companies
Insurance companies are not always willing to pay. If they had to pay every time someone makes a claim, they would be making losses, or at least less profits. Personal injury attorneys are sometimes faced with the herculean task of protecting their clients from these national and multinational business entities. Sometimes when these business entities completely refuse to pay, the individual may seek the services of a lawyer who can help present a case that can at least lead to some compensation being made, even if it is a fraction of the initial claim.
Most personal injury attorneys only get paid when they win the case. It is in their interest for their clients to get compensation. If you have an injury and are seeking compensation, it is worth considering getting a qualified lawyer to help you out.
Written by Kellie Bertels, an attorney at Bandre, Hunt and Snider in Jefferson City, MO. Bandre, Hunt and Snider are the best attorneys Jefferson City MO have to offer.
I used to weigh 124 pounds. It was almost impossible for me to gain any weight, no matter what I ate. Then, I got married and had three kids, and I had a feeling that I was never going to see the 120s again. I did lose most of the baby weight I was carrying around, but the last 15 were being really stubborn. It was sort of ironic because I was busier than I had ever been with three kids now, but the weight still lingered. I found Exoslim after talking with some other moms on a parenting forum online, and it ended up being the missing piece of the puzzle for my weight loss story.
I had never taken anything like this before. I thought that the only way to lose weight was just to eat less and exercise more. It is funny though, because I was doing that, but it was as if my body was betraying me. I am not saying I was perfect with all of my food choices, but I was not eating nearly as much junk food as I used to, and the weight still refused to leave my body.
This is the most comprehensive look so far at how physical activity influences cancer risk :
You know the virtues of regular physical activity: it can lower your risk of becoming overweight and can keep diseases like heart problems and diabetes at bay. But can it help reduce the risk of cancer, too? A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine sheds new light on that question.
Previous studies have found that people who are more active tend to have lower rates of colon, breast and endometrial cancer. Exercise might lower colon tumors by speeding the transit of waste through the intestines, leaving little time for any potential cancer-causing agents to harm intestinal tissues. And physical activity can lower estrogen levels, which are known to contribute to breast and endometrial tumors. Still, there was plenty scientists didn’t fully understand about the mechanism, if there is one, by which exercise cuts down on cancer risk.
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In an effort to get a more complete picture of how exercise and cancer interact, a team led by Steven Moore, a cancer epidemiologist at the National Cancer Institute, took on the ambitious task of pooling data from 1. 4 million people who reported on their physical activity levels over a period of 11 years. Moore matched these peoples’ exercise records with whether they developed 26 different types of cancer.
MORE: Here’s the Amount of Exercise That Lowers Breast Cancer Risk
The data came from 12 different studies that looked at a wide range of the U.S. and European populations. Overall, people who exercising more saw a 7% lower risk of developing any type of cancer than people who exercised less. But the reduced risk was especially striking for 13 types of cancers. People who were more active had on average a 20% lower risk of cancers of the esophagus, lung, kidney, stomach, endometrium and others compared with people who were less active. The reduction was slightly lower for colon, bladder, and breast cancers.
“Everybody knows physical activity reduces heart disease risk,” says Moore. “The takeaway here is that physical activity might reduce the risk of cancers as well. Cancer is a very feared disease, but if people understand that physical activity can influence their risk for cancer, then that might provide yet one more motivating factor to become active.”
MORE: What If Your Immune System Could Be Taught to Kill Cancer?
Moore says that the relationship between physical activity and power cancer risk remained strong even after adjusting for other potential factors that could account for the reduction, including things like body mass index (BMI), diet and whether or not they smoked. While the reason for exercise’s benefit in lowering risk of these cancers isn’t clear, it’s possible that physical activity can shift insulin and inflammation to more beneficial levels that don’t promote tumor formation.
Two types of cancers, melanoma and prostate cancer, were higher among those who were more active. The skin cancer risk could be because people who exercise more may spend more time outdoors. The prostate cancer connection may be more complicated. Men who are more active may also pay more attention to their health overall, and therefore get screened more regularly for prostate cancer. (Many prostate cancers are not aggressive and do not require treatment.)
Moore adds the caveat that while the data are striking, and the sheer number of people involved gives the results some validity, the association still needs to be confirmed with more studies. For one, the people self-reported on their physical activity, and while the researchers asked them to include only moderate to vigorous exercise, there could still be some bias in how the people recorded their exercise levels. And while they accounted for major factors that could influence cancer outcomes, they might not have included all potential confounders. Even adjusting for BMI, for example, was tricky, since exercise can affect BMI since it affects weight, and people who are heavier tend to be less active.
Still, he says, the study is the most comprehensive look so far at how physical activity can influence cancer risk, and offers another potential way for people to lower their risk of the disease.
The list of cancer-causing agents is long and getting-longer. Experts already tell us to avoid smoking, exposure to UV radiation from the sun and even air pollution because these can increase the risk-of-cancer.
Now the World Health Organization says that hot drinks like coffee, tea and maté belong on that list too. The group’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), made up of 23 scientists from 10 countries, reviewed around 1,000 studies that investigated a connection between high-temperature beverages and their potential link to cancer. Based on the available evidence, they conclude that drinking very hot beverages, which they defined as anything above 149F (65C)—cooler than a cup of coffee from most take-out spots—is linked to higher risk of cancer of the esophagus.
They based their conclusion, which is published in Lancet Oncology, on studies that found higher rates of esophageal cancer among people who drank extremely hot tea or coffee compared to those who consumed their drinks at lower temperatures. The link to cancer remained strong even after they adjusted for things like smoking and other possible cancer risk factors. Animal studies also seem to hint that even very hot water can increase the risk of this type of cancer, presumably because the temperature scalds delicate tissues in the esophagus; that damage may then trigger more rapid turnover of the cells, which can in some cases lead to out-of-control malignant growth.
The group of probable cancer-causing agents in people includes 79 substances, most recently red and processed meat, fried foods, DDT and the human papillomavirus (which is linked to cervical cancer).
The report also concludes, however, that there isn’t adequate evidence to classify coffee itself as a carcinogen. That’s a downgrading of the risk for coffee from its previous analysis, done in 1991, when studies linking coffee consumption to a higher risk of bladder cancer led the IARC to deem coffee as “possibly” carcinogenic to people. Now, says Dana Loomis, deputy head of the IARC, “the available scientific evidence base is much larger and stronger. There are quality studies available today that are significantly better than those in 1991.” Recently, more studies that control for such factors support the benefits of coffee in lowering risk of cancer in certain parts of the body. But for 20 other types of cancer, the evidence isn’t strong enough to suggest either a benefit or risk, so the IARC is changing the designation to “inadequate evidence for carcinogenicity of coffee drinking overall.”
That seems to contradict the finding about hot beverages, since most people drink their coffee hot. But the classifications aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. People who drink more coffee seem to have lower rates of certain cancers, including liver and endometrial cancers. But, says Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical and scientific officer at the American Cancer Society, “that’s not where hot beverages hit. Hot beverages hit the mouth, throat, esophagus and stomach.” So that means that even though coffee may be hot, as long as it’s not too hot, there doesn’t seem to be evidence linking coffee to higher risks of cancer other than esophageal cancer.
In the studies the group reviewed, there seemed to be an increased risk of esophageal cancer only when people drank very hot beverages, usually above 149F. The National Coffee Association USA recommends holding coffee at 180 to 185F; most coffee sellers serve their drinks at about 10 degrees below that after a lawsuit by a customer who was scalded by cup at the holding temperature at McDonald’s—but that’s still higher than experts now recommend to avoid cancer risk.
The people who might want to discuss the latest classification change with their doctors are people with Barrett’s esophagus, a condition that often precedes esophageal cancer. For almost every else, says Brawley, the risk from the higher temperature drinks is much smaller than the risk from other, more common risk behaviors. “I would say anybody who drinks alcohol shouldn’t even worry about this because alcohol is far more of a cancer-causer than coffee or hot drinks. Anybody who smokes cigarettes also shouldn’t worry about this because cigarettes are a far greater cause of cancer than alcohol.”
“Basically this is a reassuring message for coffee drinkers,” says Dr. Alberto Ascherio, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. Just don’t drink it too hot.
The Mediterranean diet has a lot-going for it and no small part is that you can eat plenty of fat while following it.
The diet doesn’t restrict total fats, mainly because it is rich in plants and fish, which contain healthy fats that don’t tend to build up in blood vessels and contribute to conditions like heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. Nuts, fruits, vegetables, grains and seafood—also key components—contain unsaturated fats that have been linked to lower risk of chronic diseases, including cancer. Add in olive oil and moderate wine and dairy, and it’s a fat friendly (and pleasurable) way to eat.
In the latest study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers led by Dr. Hanna Bloomfield from the Minneapolis VA Medical Center analyzed data from 53 studies that investigated the health effects of the Mediterranean diet. The researchers focused their attention on clinical trials, which tend to be stronger sources of data than observational studies that look at populations and ask people about their diets. In the clinical trials, people were assigned a specific Mediterranean diet or a control diet and various health measures were recorded over time.
Overall, the analysis found that people on the Mediterranean diets had a 29% lower risk of developing heart disease than those who weren’t on the diet, a 57% lower risk of developing breast cancer and a 30% reduced risk of getting diabetes.
Bloomfield is cautious, however, about interpreting these findings to mean that the Mediterranean diet can lower risk of breast cancer. Only one randomized trial involving breast cancer was included in the analysis, so more research is needed to replicate those findings before doctors can confidently advise their patients to adopt this diet if they want to lower their risk.
“I don’t think the evidence is strong enough yet for any one health group to come out with a proclamation,” says Bloomfield. The American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society note the benefits of the Mediterranean diet and its reliance on healthy fats, but both say more research is needed on whether it can prevent or significantly lower risk of heart disease or cancer. While the data in the current study showed lower rates of heart disease, diabetes and breast cancer, they did not show an overall reduced risk of dying early among those choosing Mediterranean diets.
Though the potential benefits are still being discovered, doctors don’t find much harm in eating the Mediterranean way. In fact, the most recentDietary Recommendations for Americans advised people to eat a diet that looks more like the Mediterranean diet. Most of the components of a Mediterranean diet—like vegetables, fish and olive oil—have been linked to more health benefits than adverse effects.
The results also support the changing view on fats. For decades, the message has been to lower how much fat we eat, mainly because those fats were coming from red meat and fried foods. But healthy fats may not need such restrictions. With plant or unsaturated fats, there may be benefits to consuming more, as Bloomfield’s study suggests. More research in coming years will hopefully define exactly how much of these healthy fats are optimal.
Cue the sound of a thousand-grills shedding a summer hot tear burgers, as know them. That are not a health food, most of our experts-agree.
But there might be some wiggle room there, depending on what’s in your patty. “Fatty beef from dubiously fed cattle, slathered in sugary ketchup and placed between two haves of a refined flour bun? No thanks,” saysDavid Katz, MD, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. Same for any beef burger not made with 90-97% lean ground beef, says Julia Zumpano, a registered dietitian in preventive cardiology at Cleveland Clinic.
However, Kristi King, senior clinical dietitian at Texas Children’s Hospital, gives a thumbs up to burgers in moderation and in proper portion sizes; burgers are high in protein, vitamin B12 and iron, she says. Plus, says Zumpano, if you make the burgers yourself, you can control the ingredients and maximize the better-for-you elements while cutting down on the more harmful ones.
Moderation, of course, is the key word. Eating beef burgers regularly isn’t a good idea for a few reasons, says Erica Frank, MD, professor and Canada research chair in preventive medicine and population health at the University of British Columbia. Beef burgers are loaded with saturated fat, she points out; an ungarnished fast-food cheeseburger has 29% of your daily FDA-recommended limit.
Then, of course, every burger comes with a large side of environmental issues. Beef isn’t the most sustainable meat to produce. “Raising a cow takes a huge amount of water,” she says—between 4,000-18,000 gallons for a hamburger, according to the U.S. Geographical Survey. Livestock production is a large contributor to climate change, she says, and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations says the livestock sector is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
“The reality is that global demand for meat is increasing nearly 2 percent a year,” says Rebecca Shaw, PhD, associate vice president and senior lead scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund. “As incomes rise, so does demand for meat protein.” Plant-based proteins can help ease that load, but “the bottom line is that we need to make beef, pork and poultry as sustainable as possible,” she says. One way to make burgers better for the earth is to change the way we raise a primary source of cow feed: U.S. corn, nearly 40 percent of which goes towards animal chow, Shaw says. “The low-hanging fruit is to grow this corn more sustainably by reducing excess fertilizer used to grow the corn,” she says. “This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve water quality.”
Choosing grass-fed—instead of corn-fed—meat is one way to earn burgers a slightly higher rating in Katz’s opinion; you have his permission to plate grass-fed beef bison on a whole-grain bun with slices of tomato, onion, avocado and lettuce. He gives a “definite yes,” though, to his wife’s special: a mix of lean, free-range ground turkey and lentils, patted atop a homemade whole-wheat bun with vegetables and salsa.
Last year, a zoo in the U.K. attracted international attention when it banned bananas from its primates cages. According to-a-zoo spokesperson, they’re too sugary for monkeys, too caloric, and they could give rise to health problems like type 2 of diabetes.
So should we humans eschew bananas, too? All five of our experts say no.
Bananas are known for their high potassium content. A medium fruit has 422 mg potassium, 12% of the daily total recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “Most Americans do not get enough dietary potassium,” says Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, distinguished university professor emerita at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York who researches such things. “Those who consume more potassium have a lower risk of stroke,” she says.
A medium banana has 102 calories, 17% of recommended daily vitamin C and 3 grams of fiber. It also has 27 grams of carbohydrates (and 14 grams of sugar). “Many of my patients are fearful of this fruit due to its high carbohydrate content,” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, registered dietitian and manager of Wellness Nutrition Services at Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute. Her advice: slice a banana in half and pair it with a fat, like peanut or almond butter, to lessen its effects on blood sugar and insulin.
The coolest thing a banana can do, if you ask David Nieman, is to refuel your body as effectively as Gatorade for far less money (and food dye). In 2012, Nieman, professor of health science and director of the Appalachian State University Human Performance Laboratory at the North Carolina Research Campus, published a study in PLOS One testing bananas against Gatorade in athletes. (The study was sponsored by Dole Foods; Nieman says he receives no compensation from the company. “All I care about is the scientific truth,” he says.)
In the study, 14 male athletes cycled a 75-km road race, during which they refueled with either half a banana plus water, or a cup of Gatorade, about every 15 minutes. Three weeks later, the athletes repeated the experiment but switched what they ate during the race. Their performance times and body physiology were the same. But the researchers also discovered that the bananas contained serotonin and dopamine, which seemed to improve the body’s antioxidant capacity and help with oxidative stress.
“The banana, we think, is like this wonderful athletic package where you get the sugars you need, you get the vitamins and electrolytes that the body likes during exercise, and this very unique molecule dopamine that can help with the oxidative stress, all at one third the cost of Gatorade,” Nieman says.
It has other perks, too. “Bananas are one of the most versatile and important world foods,” says professor James Dale from Australia’s Queensland University of Technology. It’s some of the hardiest, producing fruit year-round in good conditions and resilient for long periods when rains don’t come. To help combat vitamin A deficiencies in poor children around the world, Dale is part of a team, backed by millions from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, that’s genetically engineered a banana to deliver alpha- and beta-carotene, which turns into vitamin A in the body.
Bananas’ popularity have a problem worth considering. There’s just one variety in the world that’s widely grown: the Cavendish, says DanKoeppel, author of Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World. “The monoculture turns forests into factories, and means that bananas are very susceptible to disease, requiring lots of damaging pesticides to sustain the crop,” he says. “At the same time, bananas are the cheapest fruit in the supermarket. Maintaining these prices often means paying workers very little, which has led to violent suppression of attempts to expand worker benefits.”
That makes bananas a problematic fruit, Koeppel says, but he still recommends eating them as a healthy alternative to candy and salty snacks. Ideally, customers should demand more varieties to break the monoculture, he says. But buying fair-trade bananas where some of the profits go to workers and the protection of the environment is a good place to start.
Hangovers are rough. And when it comes to speeding up your post-binge recovery, there are about as many purported cures : greasy food, A hot sauna, Chugging Pedialyte.
But what actually works? It helps to understand exactly what’s causing you to feel so junky in the first place.
“I like to think of a hangover as a mini withdrawal syndrome,” says George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. When you drink, your brain experiences an uptick in feel-good neurotransmitters, Koob explains. Swallow enough booze, and the resulting comedown from that massive surge of intoxicating chemicals may switch on pro-stress and pro-inflammation responses that cause or contribute to your feelings of queasiness, headache and other “flu-like symptoms,” Koob says. As you age, these responses may become more pronounced, he adds.
Other factors that contribute to your hangover are the additives or ingredients in your drink. Koob uses the term “congeners” to refer to any substances other than water and alcohol produced during the fermentation of your adult beverage. A drink’s congener content may exacerbate some of the pro-inflammatory or withdrawal-like responses he mentioned above.
In general, more flavorful liquors—think bourbon or cognac—tend to have more congeners than clear, mild liquors like vodka. Also, “organic wine generally has less congeners added to it compared to standard wine,” says Chris Alford, an associate professor of psychology at University of the West of England who has performed several studies on hangovers. As for beer, some unfiltered craft beers may have higher congener contents than lighter, less-flavorful brews, though that’s not always the case.
“Everyone has different sensitivities to congeners,” Koob says. While a few bourbons or a particular beer may leave you feeling like garbage, your pal may be able to drink the same amount and type of booze without much of a hangover. Still, avoiding lots of congeners may be a good way to dodge a hangover, Koob says.
That’s helpful if you’re aware enough to plan ahead. But can anything actually speed your recovery once you’re mired in a nasty hangover?
Rehydrating is a good start. “Alcohol is a diuretic,” Koob says. So the more your drink, the more water you lose in the form of urine. That means drinking water and electrolyte-infused beverages like Gatorade may help you bounce back from some hangover symptoms, Koob says.
While it sounds painful, going for a run or workout should also help clear your head and quell your symptoms. Exercise helps “kick start your metabolism,” which increases blood flow and hurries your body’s clearance of alcohol-related toxins from your bloodstream and body tissues, Alford says.
“Getting a good meal down and getting a shower, or really any active things, will speed blood flow and the removal of accumulated alcohol byproducts,” Koob adds, “which will help you when you’re feeling lousy.”
A daylong movie marathon on your couch may sound a lot more appealing. But the longer you laze around doing nothing, the longer it will take your system to jettison the stuff that’s making you feel so bad.
Sure, your breath may remind you about the garlic you ate at lunch. But that’s not-all-your mouth can tell you a problems with your gums, teeth, and tongue can hint at health concerns deeper in the body, a dentist at the Cleveland Clinic.
If you suddenly have a bunch of cavities
It might mean: Diabetes
Say you’ve gone most of your life without many cavities; then at your biannual check-up, your dentist announces you’ve got five. Assuming you’re not hooked on soda or taking any new medications, the tooth decay could be a sign that you’re body is having trouble processing glucose. When that happens, the sugar can build up in saliva and spur the growth of cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth, says Haberkamp. You might also feel some tooth pain, especially after eating something sweet, hot, or cold. “For the record, cavities aren’t the only oral side effect of diabetes,” she adds. “Gum disease, oral thrush, and dry mouth are others, too.”
Health.com: 20 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Teeth
If your teeth are “wearing away”
It might mean: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Heartburn can happen to anyone. But if you’re experiencing it more than twice a week for a few weeks in a row, you may have GERD, a condition in which stomach acids leaks into the esophagus. While some people experience a “burning” sensation in their chest or throat, others don’t experience any symptoms at all.
When stomach acid reaches the mouth, it can wear away the enamel on your teeth. “Erosion from GERD is typically on the tongue side of the teeth,” says Haberkamp. “A person may not notice this, since it may occur slowly, but a dentist would notice on a periodic exam.” If you are diagnosed with GERD, it may be treated with antacids, prescription meds, and lifestyle changes like avoiding certain foods and eating smaller, more frequent meals.
If your gums bleed when you brush
It might mean: Gingivitis
Unless you just started flossing your teeth or you’re brushing too hard (in which case, ease up!), blood in the sink may indicate inflammation of your gum tissue caused by plaque buildup along the gum line. Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more serious periodontitis, in which the gums recede from the teeth and form pockets that get infected. And that may signal trouble beyond your mouth: A study published in the American Heart Journal found that people with periodontitis are also more likely to have heart disease, though it’s unclear whether caring for your teeth can also protect your ticker.
Make an appointment with your dentist if you think you might have gingivitis. Also make sure you’re using the right toothbrush (one that’s not too stiff), and remember to floss gently: The American Dental Association recommends that people lightly “guide” the floss between your teeth—not saw it back and forth until it scrapes your gums.
Health.com: The Weird Thing That Can Happen to Your Teeth Before Your Period
If you have white spots on your tongue
It might mean: Oral thrush
White patches or plaques can be a symptom of oral thrush, an infection caused by an overgrowth of the Candida yeast. It’s not super common, but people who have diabetes, dry mouth, or a depressed immune system are more at risk. Additional signs of the infection include redness, difficulty swallowing, or cracking at the corners of your mouth. If you develop thrush, your MD may prescribe an antifungal medication.
This food from the sea is a no brainer for all five of our-experts.
A small 3-oz serving of wild salmon has about 156 calories and 23 grams of protein, plus 6 grams of fat. Omega 3 fatty acids are salmon’s claim to fame, “providing anywhere between 2-3 grams per 3-oz. serving,” saysJulia Renee Zumpano, a registered dietitian at the Center for Preventive Cardiology Cleveland Clinic. (To put that into perspective, that’s the nutrient equivalent of taking three days’ worth of soft gels of fish oil in supplement form.) “Omega 3 fatty acids can help reduce blood triglycerides, blood pressure, and reduce swelling.”
“Wild is better than farmed,” says Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, an assertion with which most of our experts agree. Zumpano points out that farmed salmon may contain more saturated fat, calories, pollutants and antibiotics than wild salmon. (Salmon does have low mercury levels, however, according to the FDA.)
Farmed salmon may not deliver as many omega-3s, says Peter D. Nichols, senior principal research scientist at CSIRO Food, Nutrition & Bioproducts in Australia who’s researched long-chain omega-3 (LC Omega-3) oils. “The content of the LC Omega-3 has generally decreased in farmed salmon both in Australia and globally,” he says. “The LC omega-3 content is about half of what it used to be, although we should also note that this is still generally 10-100 fold higher than most other food groups.”
Not all farmed salmon is bad, though, says Tim Fitzgerald, director of impact in the oceans program at the Environmental Defense Fund. “Although most generic farmed salmon—often labeled ‘Atlantic’ in stores—still comes with a variety of environmental concerns, a number of new companies are upping their game and showing that salmon farming doesn’t have to be on everyone’s ‘avoid’ list,” he says. A few of his favorite sustainably farmed salmon standouts are Atlantic Sapphire, Kuterra andVerlasso. Fitzgerald also likes arctic char as an alternative to farmed salmon. “It’s closely related to salmon—so looks and tastes very similar, it’s farmed responsibly, and has a price point somewhere between Atlantic and wild Alaskan salmon.”
For the overall most sustainable salmon, choose wild Alaskan salmon, saysKimberly Warner, a senior scientist at Oceana, a nonprofit focused on ocean conservation. “Wild Alaskan salmon are managed well in the U.S.,” she says. It’s expensive, but you’ll be getting an especially good deal during the summer salmon season (and buying fish in season means the fish is most likely to be honestly labeled, she says).
But don’t forget: not every fish worth eating comes on ice. “Virtually all canned salmon is wild-caught in Alaska,” Fitzgerald says, “so you can get all of the environmental and health benefits for just a few dollars.”