Is Cod Healthy? Nutrition, Calories, Benefits, and More

Is Cod Healthy?

Nutrition, Calories, Benefits, and More

Cod is one of the most popular fish eaten in the world. There are many different types of cod used in various dishes.

Some of them include: cod roe (cod liver oil), cod fillets (fish filets), dried cod meat (dried fish flakes) or smoked cod sausage. All these kinds of foods have their own benefits and drawbacks.

Cod is a very nutritious food. It contains omega 3 fatty acids, protein, iron, zinc and other vitamins and minerals.

However it’s not only health benefits but also its taste are appealing to some people. People love eating cod because they think it tastes good!

But does it really? Does the taste matter when considering whether or not to eat cod?

Let’s take a look at the nutritional facts of cod so you can make your decision based on what matters most: taste!

What Are Omega 3 Fatty Acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats found in oily fish such as herring, mackerel, sardines and salmon. They play a vital role in the proper functioning of the nervous system and heart. Fish oils are considered to be very beneficial for cardiovascular health due to their high content of EPA and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid and docosapentaenoic acid).

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help prevent heart attacks, thrombosis (blood clots in veins and arteries), arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm), high blood pressure, and stroke by reducing triglyceride levels, LDL cholesterol (which is “bad” cholesterol) and triglycerides, and increasing HDL cholesterol (which is “good” cholesterol). They have also been shown to help prevent against Alzheimer’s disease and depression.

What is the difference between EPA and DHA?

EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are long-chain “omega-3” fatty acids. Both have been demonstrated to have various health benefits. They are also both found in fish oils.

The health benefits of DHA are quite well-studied in infants and pregnant women. DHA is a vital nutrient to the development of the central nervous system of an unborn child or an infant.

Studies have shown that children born to mothers who consume a high level of DHA give birth to children with a higher cognitive ability (more intelligence).

DHA has also been shown to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. It is also effective in the treatment of depression.

DHA is commonly sold as an over-the-counter supplement.

Although there are many studies showing the benefits of DHA, not many studies have been done on the benefits of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). It has been shown to help prevent and treat rheumatoid arthritis, but that’s pretty much it.

The long-term effects of a high level of EPA on the heart, arteries, triglycerides and cholesterol have not been studied very much.

Which Is More Effective: EPA or DHA?

From what I’ve read in various fish oil and omega-3 fatty acid studies, it looks like both EPA and DHA are effective at preventing and treating heart diseases, high cholesterol, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Sources & references used in this article:

Dietary and policy priorities for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity: a comprehensive review by D Mozaffarian – Circulation, 2016 – Am Heart Assoc

Nutritional knowledge, nutritional labels, and health claims on food by D Petrovici, A Fearne, RM Nayga, D Drolias – British Food Journal, 2012 – emerald.com

Fish intake, contaminants, and human health: evaluating the risks and the benefits by D Mozaffarian, EB Rimm – Jama, 2006 – jamanetwork.com

Dietary reference intakes for DHA and EPA by PM Kris-Etherton, JA Grieger, TD Etherton – … , Leukotrienes and Essential …, 2009 – Elsevier

The National Diet and Nutrition Survey: adults aged 19 to 64 years by L Henderson, J Gregory, G Swan – Vitamin and mineral intake and …, 2003 – faunalytics.org

Nutrition Essentials and Diet Therapy-E-Book by NJ Peckenpaugh – 2013 – books.google.com

Prescription for nutritional healing by PA Balch – 2006 – books.google.com

Extraction and characterization of bioactive compounds with health benefits from marine resources: macro and micro algae, cyanobacteria, and invertebrates by E Ibañez, M Herrero, JA Mendiola… – Marine bioactive …, 2012 – Springer