Fish are a healthy option for lean protein and although catfish are high in cholesterol, they contain polyunsaturated fatty acids that have a cholesterol lowering affect. A healthy cholesterol level is below below 200 milligrams per deciliter. Diabetics, especially the obesse patients, patients with CVDs, hypercholesterolemia and hyperlipidemia are advised to steer clear of catfish as they increase LDL levels and spike cholesterol levels. Eating foods rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) such as catfish, may help manage cholesterol levels. Consumption of these types of fatty acids is thought to be associated with reduction in blood pressure and reduced risk for certain cancers, inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, and even mental decline. But there’s a clause somewhere: read on and find out.
Essential Fatty Acids:
Catfish contains omega-3 fats and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, which are essential for good health. It is recommended that one consumes 1 gram of omega-3 fats each day for heart health and that you get between 5 and 10 percent of calories from omega-6 fatty acids. The typical polyunsaturated fat diet provides too many omega-6 fats compared to omega-3 fats, which may increase your risk for inflammatory diseases. A 4-to-1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats or lower provides health benefits, and at a ratio of 10-to-1, adverse health effects become more likely, notes a study published in October 2002 in Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy.
Omega-6 Fats and Cholesterol:
Catfish contain a relatively high amount of omega-6 fats, at 65 milligrams per 3-ounce serving. These fats help to lower your LDL, or bad cholesterol, while improving your ratio of HDL, or good cholesterol, to LDL cholesterol, notes a 2009 article published in “Circulation.” The higher your ratio of HDL cholesterol to LDL cholesterol, the better for reducing your risk for heart disease.
Omega-3 Fats and Cholesterol:
Catfish also contain 150 to 200 milligrams of omega-3 fats in a 3-ounce serving. These fats can also affect cholesterol, but not always in a consistent way. Consuming these fats may lower your triglyceride levels and increase your HDL cholesterol, but they may also increase your LDL cholesterol, according to a July 2004 article in “American Family Physician. How do they do this?
Now to the Point: How Harmful Can It Be?
There’s an interesting discussion in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Is the fatty acid mix in catfish and tilapia healthy or harmful?
First off, catfish and tilapia rank as the most popular fish for enjoyment as barbecue or fresch fish pepper soup in Nigeria thanks mainly to their taste and size.
The National Institutes of Health funded study looked at the favorable omega-3 fatty acid content and unfavorable omega-6 contents of commonly eaten fish and found that while catfish and tilapia contain both, they contain a high amount of unfavorable omega-6 fat.
They report that a 100g portion of catfish or tilapia contains 67 and 134 milligrams respectively of the bad fat (the same amount of 80 percent lean hamburger contains 34 milligrams, and bacon 191 milligram
If you are at risk for inflammatory diseases or blood clots, you don’t want to consume more than the recommended amounts of omega-6 fats, as they may increase the risk for these conditions when consumed in large amounts, especially if you do not consume many omega-3 fats.omega-6 fatty acid are susceptible to oxidation — thereby possibly increasing risk for blood clots, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and cancers. However, omega-6 fats are still preferable to saturated fat when it comes to heart health. Varying the type of fish you consume and including fish higher in omega-3 fats, like salmon and mackarel, as well as those that have lower levels of omega-3 fats, like catfish, can help you maintain the proper balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.