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"Life is like a box of sardines," declared English playwright Alan Bennett, author of "The History Boys," "and we are all looking for the key." Well, if you haven't ever managed to twist open the lid on a can of the little swimmers, maybe news of their many virtues will help you enjoy all they have to offer.

ConsumerLab.com tested three popular brands and found they served up around 1,600 to 1,850 milligrams of the omega-3s DHA and EPA in every 3-ounce serving — more than in a comparable serving of canned tuna. Sardines are very low in mercury; albacore "white" tuna contains 10 to 20 times higher levels. Sardines are also protein-rich. The brands tested contained 12-22 grams in each 3-ounce serving.

The health benefits are wide-ranging. DHA and EPA reduce inflammation, protect your heart and brain and help joints move more easily. And it is especially important to have enough protein to fuel your muscle-building 10,000 steps a day. The one caution — and the same applies to canned tuna — the arsenic levels, while safe, mean you should stick with no more than one serving a day.

If you want to try out these tasty fish, you're in luck! Check out Dr. Mike's book "The What To Eat When Cookbook." You can sub sardines for salmon in various recipes, such as the one for Wild Sockeye Salmon En Papillote, and add them to pasta dishes such as Pasta with Harissa-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Spinach.

 

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit sharecare.com.

 

(c)2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

 

King Features Syndicate

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