North Carolina Sea Grant
Mariner's Menu

Mariner's Menu

November 8, 2009 | David Green

seafood is health food

Enjoying a healthy diet high in protein and low in fat and calories is a goal of many people. There are few foods that combine low fat, low calories and high protein the way fish and seafood do. In addition, the protective oils in many cold water fish are known for their role in preventing heart disease and lowering levels of cholesterol in the blood.

Fish are delicious and easy to prepare. Many people have avoided fish because they were unsure of how to cook and prepare it. While preparing fish can sometimes be a challenge, there are many recipes, both online and in Mariner’s Menu, that make it easy to prepare fresh fish.
Nutritionists recommend that everyone eat fish at least twice a week. Substituting low fat, low calorie fish dishes for high calorie fatty meats is a great way to lower the amount of total fat in your diet.

Certain fish like salmon contain a lot of fat but compared to high fat meats, salmon is still a relatively low fat source of protein. One advantage fish have over other types of meats is the type of fat it contains. Most meats contain saturated fats, which are solid at room temperature. Fish are high in polyunsaturated fats which are liquid at room temperature, and they are healthier fats for the people who consume them.

Saturated fats are thought to play a greater role in heart disease, stroke and hardening of the arteries. That is why healthy cooking typically involves the use of polyunsaturated fats such as canola oil and olive oil, instead of saturated fats such as beef lard and butter.

Fish are considered a healthier choice, since high protein comes with less fat and fewer calories. Everyone knows about the importance of protein in the diet. Enjoy fish for a healthier life.

Adapted from Tony Robinson, www.1stbetterhealth.com accessed on 10-4-09.

Contributed by David Green

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