Ah, sardines. It does seem like there are two kinds of sardine eaters. Both are equally awesome (though one might have more fun). The first sardine snackers are those that love and adore and swoon over tinned fishes. The second set firmly believe that sardines are good for you (which of course they are), but the ritual is almost like taking a daily vitamin. Are you a sardine lover? Are you a dutiful sardine consumer? All of us can share a place at the Vital Choice table. When they take really excellent quality fish and nestle them in olive oil in those single-serve cans, the flavors are unbelievable. Somewhat reluctant sardine eaters might even hop over to the other side of the fence after having Vital Choice in their lunchbox. Yep, it's really that tasty. ~
For the true, true stories behind this incredible foodstuff, read on.
Here's the thing: with average, run-of-the-mill canned fish, the flavor is flat and almost, well, fishy. Now, compare that to the seafood from Vital Choice, where the oil is fresh and the fish is creamy and delicious. The difference is almost like having water-canned tuna for ages, and then having perfectly seared rare tuna at a restaurant - you can't believe it's the same fish.
- Gluten free
- Low sodium
- Easy-open top
- Packed in organic extra virgin olive oil
- Certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
These premium Portuguese sardines are a delicious, full-flavored source of omega-3s. They’re custom-packed for Vital Choice at peak freshness by a family that has perfected their craft for over 150 years. Our premium sardines with skin and bones are packed in certified-organic extra virgin olive oil, rich in antioxidants and flavor.
Check out this awesome video of the making of a can of sardines:
Why are sardines so good for you? (Hint: fat!!!)
We all know by now that our bodies do extremely well with lots of polyunsaturated Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in our diet. These help with everything from the structure and function of our cells, to brain function, metabolism, and immune-system health. Since our bodies can’t make these healthy fats ourselves, we need to find foods that do the work. Most Americans actually get too much of the Omega-6s from the vegetable oils used when we cook at home, and in almost all restaurant, take-out, prepared, and packaged foods. So where we mostly need help is with our levels of Omega-3’s.
Omega-3s come in two basic forms, with distinctly different health impacts: short-chain omega-3 ALA from plant foods, and long-chain omega-3s (EPA and DHA) from seafood and fish oil. The body only needs EPA and DHA, which it can make from plant-source ALA … but only in small amounts. Of the three omega-3s, DHA is by far the most important one to get from foods or supplements. Omega-3 EPA and DHA are essential to life itself, and a very large body of evidence indicates that diets rich in both promote optimal health. Fish, shellfish, zooplankton (e.g., krill), algae, and certain aquatic plants (e.g., seaweed) are the only food sources of EPA and DHA. This explains why EPA and DHA are sometimes called "marine" omega-3s. Among marine foods, fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, herring, anchovies, and sablefish are the richest sources of EPA and DHA, by far.
More details on the health and science of this product from Vital Choice:
Long-chain omega-3s: Truly essential to life and health
Here's why long-chain omega-3s EPA and DHA are essential to human life and to optimal health:
Omega-3 EPA is found in the membranes of most cells in the body
EPA appears to support and promote healthy mood and good mental health
The body uses EPA to make ephemeral, hormone-like compounds called eicosanoids (eye-koss-uh-noyds) – e.g., prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and thromboxanes – which play key roles in the regulation of inflammation
The body uses EPA to make critical inflammation- and oxidation-regulating chemicals called E-resolvins
EPA also used to regulate the creation of eicosanoids derived from omega-6 fatty acids (arachidonic acid)
Omega-3 DHA is also found in most cell membranes, and unlike EPA, it plays essential structural and functional roles in the brain, nervous system and eyes.
DHA is especially abundant in, and important to, the synapses that connect brain cells and the eye's light receptors.
DHA is essential to the human brain and nervous system. The brain is 60 percent fatty acids by weight, and DHA constitutes about 15 percent of the brain's fatty acids.
Omega-3 EPA and DHA: Key heart-health allies
The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is the lead Federal agency charged with supporting research designed to improve the quality of health care, reduce its cost, address patient safety and medical errors, and broaden access to essential services.
In 2003, AHRQ commissioned a group of leading academic researchers to examine the available evidence concerning the impacts of omega-3s from fish (EPA and DHA) and plant foods (ALA) on cardiovascular disease (CVD).
The resulting 2004 AHRQ report – "Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Cardiovascular Disease" – found ample high-quality evidence for the cardiovascular-health and death-prevention benefits of fish and fish oil, but much less evidence concerning omega-3 ALA in plant foods:
"Overall, a number of studies offer evidence to support the hypothesis that fish, fish oil, or ALA supplement consumption reduces all-cause mortality and various CVD outcomes, although the evidence is strongest for fish or fish oil."
This finding was echoed in a 2004 ruling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in which the agencyapproved the following qualified health claim for fish and fish oil supplements: "Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease."
The American Heart Association (AHA) agrees with these Federal findings, and says that the long-chain omega-3s from fish fat (EPA and DHA) reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, thanks to the following effects:
- Moderate blood pressure.
- Promote healthy artery function.
- Lower triglyceride (blood fat) levels.
- Reduce blood stickiness (platelet aggregation).
- Optimize the ratio of HDL to non-HDL cholesterol.
- Help stabilize arterial plaque and inhibit its accumulation.
- Reduce the risk of arrhythmias that can lead to sudden cardiac death.
Omega-3s do not lower total or LDL cholesterol levels, and can in fact raise LDL levels slightly.
However, omega-3s also reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and improve the ratio of HDL ("good") cholesterol to non-HDL cholesterol. These two measures are considered more accurate predictors of cardiovascular health risk, compared with total or LDL cholesterol levels.
The AHA makes these recommendations with regard to omega-3s, fish and heart health:
- People without documented coronary heart disease: Enjoy two servings of fish per week.
- Patients with diagnosed coronary heart disease: Consume 1,000 mg (1 gm) of omega-3s daily, preferably from fatty fish or fish oil supplements.
- Patients who need to lower triglycerides: Take 2 to 4 grams (2000 to 4000mg) of omega-3s daily.
- Patients taking more than 3 grams (3000mg) of omega-3s per day from fish oil capsules should do so only under a physician's guidance.
We would add this caution: Persons diagnosed with heart disease – especially those using implanted cardiac defibrillators or taking blood thinning drugs – should consult a physician before taking supplemental omega-3s or any other dietary supplement. For more information, see "Safety considerations: doses and contraindications", below.
- DHA regulates the expression of dozens of "working" genes in the brain. It also stimulates and enables growth of the branching structures (dendrites and axons) that extend from and connect brain cells (neurons).
- DHA is essential to brain development. The brain accumulates DHA rapidly in the womb and during the first year of life, from umbilical blood, breast milk (or DHA-fortified formula) and food.
- DHA is essential to eye structure and functions and to infants' eye development.
- DHA is the dominant fatty acid in sperm, and is critical to sperm functioning and male reproductive health.
- The body uses DHA to make critical inflammation- and oxidation-regulating chemicals called D-resolvins and protectins.
- Neuroprotectin D-1 produced in the body from DHA protects brain and retina cells. NP-D1 prevents formation of the amyloid-beta proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease, and the damaging inflammation induced by amyloid-beta proteins. (As yet, there is no clinical evidence that dietary DHA prevents or treats any form of dementia.) NP D-1 plays similar roles with regard to retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells.
- DHA moderates the creation of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids derived from omega-6 fatty acids (arachidonic acid).
Why we love Vital Choice, in their own words (that's the founder pictured below!):
Vital Choice is a trusted source for the world's finest wild seafood and organic fare, harvested from healthy, well-managed wild fisheries and farms.
Leading health and wellness experts endorse Vital Choice as a leading source of pure, healthful, sustainable foods of exceptional quality.
We capture the fresh-caught quality of fine, sustainably harvested Alaskan salmon and other Alaskan and northwest Pacific seafood by cleaning and flash-freezing it within hours of harvest.
The fisheries that supply most of our seafood are certified sustainable by MSC (look for their blue logo) or the State of Alaska, or are widely considered sustainable.
The Vital Choice Advantage
Our overriding mission is to provide the highest quality, sustainably produced foods, and thereby promote our customers' health and well-being. To understand why Vital Choice is favored and trusted among many seafood aficianados, you need to add this advantage: "start with fish harvested at just the right times and places for optimal culinary quality."
You'll enjoy several advantages when you choose Vital Choice seafood:
- Certified Purity: By nature, our wild fish and shellfish are free of hazardous levels of contaminants, as you can see in our revealing mercury chart. Also see our Purity page.
- Top Quality: Our seafood will always be the very best quality available … a promise supported by our many testimonials, and backed by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
- Stellar Nutrition: In addition to ample protein, our fish are rich in two vital nutrients scarce in modern diets: omega-3s and vitamin D.
- Sustainable Sustenance: All of our seafood comes from well-managed, sustainable wild fisheries, certified as such by the State of Alaska, the Marine Stewardship Council, and independent organizations like the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, which advises consumers to avoid farmed Salmon.
Why Trust Vital Choice?
Before founding Vital Choice, Washington State native Randy Hartnell spent more than 20 years fishing wild, pristine Alaskan waters for salmon, herring, and other regional species.
And among them, three members of the small Vital Choice executive staff — Randy, his brother Terry Hartnell, and COO Dave Hamburg — possess more than 50 years' experience fishing Alaskan and Northwest waters for salmon, herring, halibut, and other regional species.
Today, we bring our rare experience to bear by providing Vital Choice customers the very best wild seafood. Few retailers seek — or are able to identify — the best wild Alaskan salmon, less than 1% of which meet strict Vital Choice standards.
As a result, we know where to get the best, most carefully handled wild salmon and seafood, at the best price possible.
And Vital Choice is proud to have earned the endorsement of nutrition-savvy physicians like Andrew Weil, M.D., Nicholas Perricone M.D., Christiane Northrup, M.D., William Sears, M.D. (AKA "America's Pediatrician"), Frank Lipman, M.D., and Joseph Mercola, D.O.
High Quality + Fair Prices = Good Value
Our wild seafood arrives at your door on dry ice, imbued with the fresh-caught flavor, texture, and nutritional benefits that premium quality fish and shellfish should provide.
Professional chefs agree with Jane Brody, longtime food/nutrition columnist for The New York Times, who once wrote, "The freshest seafood is that which has been frozen shortly after harvest and remains that way until cooked."
Our prices won't be as low as some retailers ... and that's what shoppers who seek high quailty and real value will expect. We earn about the same profit as most retail markets, but you enjoy seafood of much higher initial and delivered quality, at a perfectly fair price.
We seek to support our customers' well being, so Vital Choice will offer only the purest wild seafood possible: fish and shellfish that grow in the wild environment to which they are so superbly adapted, free of the antibiotics, pesticides, synthetic coloring agents, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) used commonly in fish farms.
Our seafood is tested regularly by independent labs, and the results show that it is free of harmful levels of mercury and other industrial contaminants. Longer-lived predator species such as Halibut and Tuna accumulate mercury over time, so we select only the smallest of the catch to ensure optimum purity.
Vital Community Connections: The Causes We Help Sustain
We contribute a portion of our net profits to the Weil Foundation, The Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Raincoast Research (Alexandra Morton's campaign to protect Canada's wild Pacific salmon from stressed caused by nearby salmon farms) and other causes devoted to improving the health and well being of people and the planet that sustains us.