‘The fish (April) ally of food’

(Adnkronos) – “April 1st and fish” is the title of the new episode of “Il Gusto della Salute”, the online chronicle created and coordinated by immunologist Mauro Minelli, contact person for Southern Italy of the Foundation for personalized medicine. “In introduction, a brief reference to the origins of the tradition of the day of jokes, the so-called April Fool’s Day, linked to the change of calendar in ancient times (from the end of March it changed to January 1, complete with teasing for those who had not updated the new dates) or, more simply, to the credulity of the subjects who found themselves in the net of the joke like poor fish, caught by trickery. Other traditions, explains Minelli , would be linked to astrological mechanisms and the zodiac sign of Pisces…”.

But the focus of the episode concerns fish as a precious food, an ally of our health, as illustrated in her intervention by nutritionist biologist Ilaria Vergallo: “Fish is a fundamental food in our diet; it contains proteins of high biological value, much more digestible than those contained in red meat. In fish we find important minerals and especially mono and polyunsaturated fats such as the famous omega 3. From a purely nutritional point of view, fish can be divided into lean, semi-fat and fat: the former belong to sea bream, cod, sole; for the latter, snapper and swordfish; for the latter, or fats, salmon, mackerel, herring and others”.

“Populations that prefer fish in their diet have a very low probability of developing hypercholesterolemia or atherosclerosis. Fish is healthy and should be eaten,” concludes Vergallo. Better cooked, however, resumes Minelli, “one of the risks we face with raw fish is that of eating meat infected with the terrible anisakis, a potential parasite host to the intestines of several specimens of blue fish and which can pass into man”. body after ingestion of the latter, consumed raw or insufficiently cooked. To escape the action of gastric juices, these parasites attack the mucous membranes with perforating capacity, causing acute or even chronic parasitosis. Allergic reactions that can go as far as anaphylactic shock are also possible, for sensitization to heat-resistant antigenic proteins of the parasite. With the proper cooking of fish, these risks are eliminated.

“However, the possible contraindications for people with allergies remain, given the histamine releasing capacities of this food which increase all the more as the fish is less fresh or loses its sanitary qualities through insufficiently controlled passages in the chain. specific food remains – concludes Minelli – fish is a heritage of noble Italian cuisine, which lends itself to a thousand transformations and to the most refined palates.”

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