Eat Right Around Chicago

Omega 3 for Dinner, Mood and Heart

Omega 3 has made headlines and scientific studies for several years due to it's potential benefits for heart health and more recently, our mood and mental function.  Although I include salmon on my list of "don't like the taste of", I decided to give it a whirl at the Rob Katz and Kevin Boehm owned restaurant, Perennial.  
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Dinner mate that will share helps you eat right.

Perennial sits on the corner of North Lincoln Ave and like so many Chicago spots, is walled by windows and comfortably elegant inside.  The menu offers fine dining picks for a reasonable price.  There were a couple of starters that I wanted to taste, but did not want to overeat - so I easily convinced my dinner mate to go halfsies with me. 

We started with the Sweet Corn Risotto before splitting the soup of the day.  Being able to split a standard restaurant serving with your dinner mate is a great way to eat right and get just a taste without excess calories. 

After the shared starters, we decided to share the salmon - I wanted to give it another go and it was placed next to beets of all colors (a favorite of mine).  As a side, if you love beets too, don't be afraid to roast them at home - don't be nervous about it's troll-like exterior - just wash, slice off the ends and roast with a splash of water and sea salt, slice and enjoy. 

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www.williewilsonphotography.com

I wanted to give salmon another chance because I take an omega 3 fish oil supplement daily.  The American Heart Association encourages us to consume a "fatty fish" two times a week, and I just can't.  I find the emerging research on omega 3 (EPA and DHA are the types of omegas that have the most benefit) very interesting - from brain function to mood, heart health and anti-inflammation, EPA and DHA appear to be important for our health.  Most recently, a review published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology reaffirmed that the evidence behind omega 3's heart health benefits are solid. 

The beets were perfectly roasted and sprinkled with seasoning.  My dinner mate (who enjoyed the other half of my salmon) said that the salmon was cooked to perfection.  Unfortunately, regardless of how prepared, I still don't like the taste of salmon.  Oh well, Perennial still offers a menu to help you eat right - they split dishes without complaint, offer grilled fish and their options are vegetable-rich.  For me, next time I'll have the chicken and stick to my fish oil supplement for my omega 3's...

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3 Comments

Kungpaocat said:

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For those of us concerned about declining salmon populations, is there a vegetable alternative for omega-3s? I don't want to take fish oil pills either.

EatRightAroundChicago said:

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Awesome question, Kungpaocat...or should I call you, my other sister, Lauren?

You are very smart to ask about fish, so I'd like to recommend what my colleague and friend, America's Green Nutritionist, Kate Geagan, MS, RD, author of Go Green, Get Lean, has on her top 25 tips for lean & green eating (www.kategeagan.com): check out www.oceansalive.org for sustainable fish options in your region and use FISHPHONE by the Blue Ocean Institute: dial 30644, enter FISH and the type of fish you are considering. It will reply with "green" advice.

For vegetable options, ALA is an omega 3 fatty acid that can be found in vegetable oils, like flax and flaxseed, and the issue is consistently debated in the science community whether ALA is an equal swap for EPA/DHA. But there does appear to be cardioprotective effects from ALA as well. See http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/83/6/S1526 for some more science talk on that.

Thanks Kungpaocat, I appreciate that you're reading!

Sincerely,
Jenna

dustin said:

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The problem with flax oil is that is is highly unstable and oxidizes very easily http://ecochicagoland.com/archives/1370

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