“I don’t like how they have to kill animals – I’m eating dead flesh on a plate" – Tyson Fury
Tyson Fury, world heavyweight boxing champion, is the latest athlete to drop meat from the menu labelling it as "disgusting" as he works on getting into the fittest shape of his life ahead of his title fight rematch set for July 9th.
While we are certainly not fans of Fury, who was recently forced to apologise for his homophobic, sexist and anti-Semitic remarks, he's managed to get one thing right and can be commended for realising that meat is certainly not a required component of our diet, and is unhealthy and the product of unnecessary suffering.
Fury sounded sincere when he talked about having wanted to give up meat and how he felt far less sluggish as a result:
“It’s got to the point where, if the man next to me at the restaurant is eating a big juicy steak, I’m like: ‘Urgh, that’s disgusting,’” Fury explained. “It can’t be good for you eating a big piece of bloody meat like a steak because, unless you are rearing your own animals, it is very contaminated.”
However Fury is reportedly still consuming fish so must not be aware that, due to the state of our polluted oceans, fish are one of the most contaminated food choices available with pollutants such as PCBs, PBDEs, dioxins, chlorinated pesticides, DDT, mercury, lead, as well as newer industrial chemicals, such as flame retardants and coolants.
These contaminants exist in all fish including shellfish but are in far greater concentrations in larger fish such as tuna and swordfish. Studies[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/13588955][http://www.pcrm.org/health/reports/fish] have shown that these contaminants are contributing to neurological disorders as well as cancer and cardiovascular disease. It's because of this that pregnant women are strongly warned against consuming fish, and adults are advised[www.mercurypolicy.org/new/fdaletter022404.html] to limit their intake to avoid their exposure to these health-damaging contaminants.
Given the clear evidence that fish are commonly contaminated with toxins that have well-known and irreversible damaging effects on children and adults, the consumption of fish should not be encouraged. The risks are known and, especially for infants and women of childbearing age, significant.
The other risks associated with the consumption of fish and shellfish, which are high in animal protein and often saturated fat and cholesterol, are also considerable. It is best to avoid the consumption of fish and shellfish and consume other more healthful foods from plant sources offer the full range of essential nutrients without the toxins and other health risks in fish.
But what about Omega-3? Luckily, there's a safer choice.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine advises:
High levels of toxins, fat, and cholesterol and a lack of fiber make fish a poor dietary choice. Fish oils have been popularized as a panacea against everything from heart problems to arthritis. In fact, fish oil supplementation may increase the risk of cardiac arrhythmias in some patients, specifically those who require a pacemaker for this problem. Research has shown that omega-3s are found in a more stable form in vegetables, fruits, and beans.
Alpha-linolenic acid, the only essential omega-3 fatty acid, is found in many vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and fruits. It is concentrated in flaxseeds and flaxseed oil and also found in oils such as canola, soybean, walnut, and wheat germ. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in nuts, seeds, and soy products, as well as beans, vegetables, and whole grains.
There are also vegan omega-3 supplements on the market that are derived entirely from plants and free of any contaminants. Fish consumption is the worst way you can ensure adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
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