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The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and its members asked Americans today to kick off February as National Heart Month by paying special attention to the most important muscle in their bodies through exercise and a healthy diet that includes fish.

"The heart is the most important muscle we have and all of us should take February to reevaluate what we're eating and how it affects our heart," said John Connelly, president of NFI. "By merely changing what we eat and including fish in our diets, we can prevent or control the risk factors and lower the chances of developing heart disease."

Connelly also said parents should use February to start serving more fish on the family dinner table. He added

"Moms and dads influence the lives of their children so much and by serving more fish, they can make sure their children grow up without developing heart disease."

Connelly noted the recently released 2005 Federal Dietary Guidelines prominently featured heart-healthy diets that include a healthy serving of fish. The guidelines specifically mentioned the tremendous health benefits of fish and shellfish such as the Omega-3 fatty acids that can "reduce the risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease." It also recommends "consuming approximately two servings of fish per week."

The report said that by following the recommendations and guidelines of keeping seafood in their diets, Americans will live "longer, healthier, and more active lives."

NFI is the leading trade association for the fish and seafood industry whose members represent a variety of businesses ranging from the sea to the table. For more information visit our website at www.nfi.

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