Why one of my Patients would not eat Sardines! Some “inflammatory humor”.

I often make nutritional recommendations to my patients, usually with the intent of improving their microbiome and lowering their inflammation levels to reduce pain as examples. One of the most convenient sources of omega-3 fats that help to accomplish this goal is the lowly sardine. Now the sardine is very controversial, I realize, but it’s a small fish so it is low in environmental pollutants such as mercury, and it comes in a convenient single-serving container that needs no refrigeration. Yesterday I got a glimpse into why some of my patients don’t follow my sardine recommendation. A woman in her late twenties confessed to not eating sardines, interrupted by fits of laughter on her part, because…of a cartoon! She thought all along that sardines had their heads on and eyes intact, because that is how she remembered them from the movie “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”. Here is a clip from that scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSKhRVH1Iv4. Ah, the risks of making meal choices based on cartoons…We both got a good laugh from the discussion! So, FYI, sardines do NOT have their heads and eyes when they are canned! Sometimes a patient’s crazy stories can provide a doctor with a welcome break from a busy day. It was greatly appreciated yesterday.

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