The common advice for people who have been diagnosed with heart problems like hypertension is "eat more fish, especially salmon." I've done a great deal of Googling and what I can't seem to figure out is whether fish is actually good for hypertension, or if it's just better than eating an equivalent portion of red meat or pork.

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    Can you link to one or two sources where you have read this?
    – Jan
    Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 13:55
  • @Jan. Sounds like this is completely new to you. Although I am not a food watcher, I believe this is common advice, see e.g. verywellhealth.com/… . Also Wikipedia mentions diets high in oily fish as decreasing the risk of a stroke, although not for fish oil supplements. See under cardiovascular disease in en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega-3_fatty_acid#Fish Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 23:36
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    @mathieuvanrijswick You are quite correct on "common advice". But: To me the comment from Jan sounds just a bit terse, but it's our site policy that questions are required to show some prior research effort. You may want to read up on this in tour, How to Ask, help center or on Medical Sciences Meta. You can also try to improve the question by suggesting an edit that may include the links you just gave. Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 14:02

2 Answers 2


Question: Does eating (fatty) fish help to lower high blood pressure or does it help only when eaten instead of red meat?

Answer: Merely increasing fish, including oily fish, consumption without other dietary changes (especially losing excessive weight) may not help to reduce blood pressure.


Food Groups and Risk of Hypertension: A Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies (Academic.oup, 2017):

In our study, fish consumption was associated with a slight increase in hypertension risk.


Food groups and intermediate disease markers: a systematic review and network meta-analysis of randomized trials (Academic.oup.com, 2018):

Consumption of fatty fish resulted in significant improvements in triglycerides and HDL cholesterol, whereas no effects were observed for...systolic and diastolic blood pressure.


According to one systematic review (American Society of Nutrition, 2017), consumption of red meat is associated with high blood pressure, but in some other studies (ResearchGate, 2014; Nutrition Journal, 2017) no such association have been found.


A Series of Systematic Reviews on the Relationship Between Dietary Patterns and Health Outcomes (USDA.gov, 2014):

There is strong and consistent evidence that consumption of a DASH [Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension] diet results in reduced blood pressure in adults with above optimal blood pressure... A dietary pattern consistent with the DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, fish, whole grains, fiber, potassium, and other minerals at recommended levels, and low in red and processed meat, sugar-sweetened foods and drinks, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.


According to the American Heart Association should have fish high in omega 3 fatty acid twice a week.

The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish) at least two times (two servings) a week. Each serving is 3.5 ounce cooked, or about ¾ cup of flaked fish. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Increasing omega-3 fatty acid consumption through foods is preferable. However, those with coronary artery disease, may not get enough omega-3 by diet alone. These people may want to talk to their doctor about supplements. And for those with high triglycerides, even larger doses could help.

Omega-3 fatty acids also decrease triglyceride levels, slow growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque, and lower blood pressure (slightly).

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    This is a recommendation but not evidence as such. A 2018 Cochrane review about omega-3 supplements conclusion: "Moderate‐ and high‐quality evidence suggests that increasing EPA and DHA has little or no effect on mortality or cardiovascular health (evidence mainly from supplement trials)." Some other systematic reviews found the same. Many known health sites promote fish, and the OP is challenging it: Does eating fish as such lowers blood pressure or are other things like eating less red meat that helps.
    – Jan
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 16:13
  • @Jan Different studies will have different findings. The AMA concludes lower blood pressure (slightly)
    – paparazzo
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 16:26

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