No, there’s no secrets to tell! The only thing around here getting fishy is our diets! You heard me. Today’s nutrition tip is about changing our diets to include more seafood and the health benefits of doing so. Here in the south we love our fried catfish and fish sticks. In Texas, we also love a little ceviche (raw fish cooked in lime juice) and those delicious Dos XX fish tacos they serve at the tex-mex restaurants. While we really want to limit the high fat seafood like these, adding seafood to your regular diet at least twice a week is not only tasty, but its also incredibly heart healthy when done right. Fish and other seafoods are an important source of lean protein. Proteins are important because they function as the building blocks for muscle, bones, skin and more. Most of the other sources of animal protein contain higher amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol which can lead to increased risk of heart disease. So choosing seafoods as an alternative will also help lower saturated fats and cholesterol in our overall diet. In addition, EPA and DHA, which are the omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood, may also help further reduce the risk of heart disease. We need to get at least 8 oz a week. What does that translate to? Well here are some common servings you might find:
Drained canned tuna is 3-4oz,
A salmon steak is 4-6oz
1 small trout is about 3-4 oz.
Be careful how you cook your seafood as well. Like I mentioned earlier high fat options like battered or deep fried need to be strictly limited or avoided all together. Go for cooking options such as grilling, broiling or roasting and baking. Try not to cook in heavy fat in any way. Also, be sure to avoid high fat sauces like cream or butter sauces. Adding extra fat can make a healthy food, not so healthy and pack on the calories we were originally trying to avoid. Variety is key with seafood. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with so much catfish that you grow whiskers if you know what I’m saying? Be brave and try something new! I get a lot of complaints from parents in my classes that their children just don’t like the “fishy” taste of seafood. Well, it honestly depends on the type of seafood you’re buying and how you prepare it. Get creative! You can make more than just fish fillets. Try creating patties with salmon, tuna, or crab. Add seafood to asian stir-fry or pasta dishes.You must be willing to try it and explore. The best seafood to start with might be the varieties that are higher in omega-3’s and lower in mercury such as salmon, trout, oysters, atlantic and pacific mackerel, herring, and sardines. These varieties are going to provide great healthy benefits. I hope you’re all enjoying your week. Check back later for more healthy tips throughout the month and consider today’s tip when making dinner tonight! Happy Running! Priscilla

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