THAT’S A PRETTY KETTLE OF FISH
We know that fish is good for us with all those omega-3 fatty acids that keep us healthy. But do we know what kind of fish to eat? How often to eat it? How it should be prepared (or not)?
 
Whether you’re heading out to the local fishing hole with your trusty pole, or going to the deli counter with a coupon, we’re here to give you what you need to know about fishy nutrition.


ONE FISH, TWO FISH

When it comes to fish, many of us have been baited with incorrect information. For example, we may think that fresh fish is always better than frozen. That may be true if you caught the fish yourself, but if you aren’t sure of the source, then commercially caught fish that are flash frozen on the spot may be your best option. Commercially caught “fresh” fish could have been ripening in the hold of the ship for days.


In the fish-positive column
Add frozen fish as a healthy option.

In the fish-negative column
Consider that the most common food allergy is not peanuts – but fish – specifically shellfish. Seafood allergies can develop late in life and are almost always permanent.
WITH THOSE FISHY FACTS IN MIND, HERE’S MORE OF WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
  • Avoid fishy smelling fish. Fish isn’t supposed to smell fishy. If it does smell fishy, it is past its prime eating date and should be tossed out (or composted). Fish shouldn’t be mushy either.
  • Bake or broil your fish. Skip the fried fish that is often cooked in saturated or trans fats which are closely linked to heart disease and stroke. Sources report that a single serving of fried fish per week was associated with a 48% higher risk of heart failure.
  • Choose fish as a lower calorie option. Compared to chicken, beef or pork, a similar weight fish is lower in calories. Shellfish for example (crab, lobster, shrimp, scallops, clams) is quite low in fat as long as you skip the drawn butter.
  • Eat fish twice per week. That’s the American Heart Association recommendation if the fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is a good example. If you’re eating a low-omega-3 fish, then eat fish three times per week.
  • Farmed fish does not necessarily have omega-3s. Some farmed fish – like tilapia – is fed a corn diet. Omega-3 rich fish would include salmon, mackerel, herring or trout (farmed or wild).
  • Fish can be a memory booster. According to studies, fish can improve short-term memory. A fish diet also appears to lower someone’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease and general mental decline.
  • People who eat fish regularly are healthier. It lowers blood pressure, cuts the risk of irregular heartbeats and can decrease the risk of fatal heart disease by 36%. In addition, a regular fish diet can lower the risk of stroke and some cancers, improve mood, and help with the symptoms of some conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
  • There’s something fishy about “sushi-grade.” People may feel more confident buying “sushi-grade” raw fish, even though the fish can still contain parasites (like tapeworms) and bacteria. The way to remove parasites and bacteria is to cook the fish to 140 degrees.




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