Effects Of Cooking On Omega 3 In Fish!Dr. Nitin Gupte
How To Cook Fish To Retain Omega 3!
Many people know that sea fish are the richest source of the sea source omega 3 fatty acids, the EPA and the DHA, in our food and that they protect us against coronary heart disease.
Many of them eat enough sea fish to get adequate omega 3.
But do they actually get the omega 3 from the fish?
Mostly not, because they don’t prepare their food the right way! Most people fry and eat it.
Let us see the effects of various kinds of cooking on the omega 3 content of fish.
The effects of the various kind of preparations of fish have been studied in two studies in India and Greece. Although more studies are needed, the findings of the two studies make the effect of cooking on omega 3 clear enough for us.
Frying: Shallow frying of fish in a skillet or a pan, exposes the omega 3 to high temperatures, destroying as much as 70 to 85 per cent of omega 3. Frying completely changes the fatty acid profile of the fish, so it doesn’t resemble the original profile at all!
Microwave cooking: Microwave cooking too destroys much of the omega 3 in fish.
Canning: Canning completely destroys the omega 3 in fish.
Cooking and baking: Cooking fish by boiling like in preparing fish curries or baking at 200°C for 20 minutes retains most of the omega 3, keeping its EPA and DHA content intact.
Smoking: Smoked fish does retain the omega 3 content of fish, but smoking fish is not a common practice in India. We get to eat smoked salmon in five-star hotels only, to the best of knowledge, and it is imported.
The commonest preparations of fish in India are frying and cooking in gravies. So the people who fry and eat fish, get minimum benefits of the fish omega 3 while those who cook it in gravies get the maximum benefits of the fish omega3.
So always eat fish prepared by boiling, or cooking it in gravies or baking it, not by frying.