The American Heart Association encourages everyone to have at least two servings of fish each week. Why? Because fish is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids, which you need for your heart and brain health. If you’re going to go ahead and eat more fish, you might as well get the most out of it, right? Good news – I have all the tips and tricks you need to do just that. Here they are!
1. Choose Fatty Fish when You’re Standing at the Seafood Counter
Don’t be mistaken – fatty fish is the better choice. It’s called that because it’s higher in omega-3s, which are considered a healthy fat. By choosing these versions, you get more bang for your buck. Salmon, trout, mackerel and herring are great options and each can be cooked in several ways so you can enjoy it while reaping the benefits.
2. Resist the Temptation to Get out Your Deep Fryer
I’m with you in thinking that life doesn’t get much better than a heaping platter of fish and chips. However, fried foods are generally a no-no when it comes to healthy eating. So, don’t fry your fish or you’ll practically undo all the good it does your body. Try baking, broiling or grilling your fish. You’ll love the flavor and your body will thank you for a lifetime.
3. Serve Fish with Steamed Veggies Instead of Fries
You can quickly undo an otherwise low-calorie and healthy meal of fish when you pair it with French fries. Instead of overloading on fat and calories, try serving fish with steamed veggies or rice pilaf. That way you keep calorie intake under control and you still get to enjoy something flavorful and satisfying.
4. Back Away from Species High in Mercury
Mercury is a potentially dangerous chemical that can build up in some fish, which means you ingest it. Rather than avoiding fish altogether, experts suggest choosing low-mercury species and avoiding the ones that are too high in the chemical. Shark and tilefish are ones to stay away from. Salmon, trout, mahi mahi, cod and catfish are perfect alternatives.
5. Give the Fish a Quick Sniff Test
Not only can bad fish make you really, really sick, but the nutrients tend to erode with time. You can usually tell a fish is fresh by its smell. Trust me – if it’s turned, you’ll know right away. At home, keep fish in the coldest part of your refrigerator and cook it the same day, if possible.
6. Don’t Hog out and Eat Too Much Fish
Sure, it’s healthy, but like anything, too much can be a bad thing. Even fish has calories and eating huge amounts of it can mean you are getting too many. A serving of fish is about an ounce, or the size of a deck of cards. Pair it with healthy side dishes and you aren’t going to be hungry, I promise.
7. Enjoy Your Sushi, but Be Careful
Sushi lovers unite! There’s nothing quite like a plate of fresh sashimi, is there? While sushi is a tasty way to fulfill your weekly fish quota, you need to be careful with it too. Make sure you are eating at places that can tell you where the fish comes from and how fresh it is. If you are pregnant, it’s best to avoid sushi, no matter how great it tastes!
What’s your favorite fish? For me, nothing beats a rainbow trout filet covered in garlic butter. What do you serve your fish with?