Fish is the best dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat that may help reduce the risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two 3 ½ ounce servings of fish a week.
A 2017 analysis of 14 studies involving a total of 1,378 people, published in the journal Atherosclerosis, found that those who consumed between 0.7 and 5 ounces of oily fish daily showed significant improvements in levels of triglycerides and HDL cholesterol. Triglycerides dropped an average of 9.7 mg/dL, and HDL levels rose an average of 2.3 mg/dL.
Unfortunately, some types of fish that are omega-3 rich have too much mercury (think mackerel or albacore tuna) or are pricey (such as salmon). Sardines are a low-mercury choice and pack nearly 1,000 mg of omega-3s in just 3 ½ ounces. Plus, they’re inexpensive and, because they come canned, convenient.