If you check healthy food lists, seafood will always be there. It’s usually grouped as a good addition to any diet. Even though seafood is usually good for you, not all fish is equally beneficial for your health, meaning that cod isn’t the same as tuna when we talk about health benefits.
You can have personal preferences when it comes to texture, taste and cooking processes, but if you want to have a balanced diet, you should also learn a little bit about different seafood and its benefits. In this article, we will go through the most popular seafood options and discuss pros and cons of each, helping you make an informed choice next time you’re at your local grocery store.
In many cuisines, salmon is the main representative of seafood. Farmed and wild salmon has multiple health benefits and it tastes good, too. Per 100 grams you get 146 kcal, almost 22 grams of protein, lots of Omega 3 acids and almost no saturated fats. Salmon, however, also contains 45 mg of cholesterol, which is 15% of your daily intake. As long as your diet isn’t rich in cholesterol foods, salmon is a great addition to your lifestyle. For a quick recipe, check here.
Tuna is very popular seafood, although it’s often portrayed as a less healthy seafood option due to its mercury content and multiple reports of slave labor used to get the fish. Even though you’d need to eat a lot of tuna to get exposed to high mercury levels, canned tuna isn’t the best option for children or pregnant ladies. For other people, canned tuna has multiple health benefits. Tuna is an oily fish that is high in sodium. It’s rich in Omega 3 fatty acids; tuna can give up to 60% of daily protein. If your diet isn’t heavy in sodium, you can enjoy tuna salad or tuna sandwiches and make your body even healthier. If you know a place where you can get fresh tuna, check out this delicious recipe.
Tilapia’s got a lot of negative attention and often portrayed in a bad light. However, this fish has multiple health benefits and is recommended by nutritionists, especially when farmed in the right way. Fresh tilapia from Honduras and Mexico is known for its great quality. The fish is rich in protein with 23 grams of protein and 450 mg of potassium per 100 grams serving.
In addition to that, Tilapia contains a lot of B 12 vitamin, which is required by our red blood cells. Your brain needs B 12 for proper function and to protect nerve endings. Only 4 ounces of tilapia provided enough of this vitamin. It contains no carbs and mercury making it a great choice as it’s loaded with healthy vitamins and is very easy to cook.
Thanks to their versatility and taste, shrimps can be found in almost every culture. There are dozens of ways you can cook them and the number of sauce options is endless. You can barbecue them, fry them, bake them, shrimps are always delicious. They are also really healthy.
Shrimps are high in protein and low in unhealthy fats, so they can find a place in any diet. The only precaution is that one serving contains almost 50% of your cholesterol daily intake. This is a downside for people who already have high cholesterol. Aside from that shrimps are a great way to add more flavor to soups, pasta and a number of other dishes while adding protein to your diet. Try this shrimps in parmesan sauce recipe and you won’t be disappointed.
Different fish has different levels of Omega-3 fatty acids
Here is the thing about seafood: you won’t be getting much of the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids if you consume tilapia, scallops, catfish or shrimp because they don’t contain much of it. This is because seafood significantly varies in omega 3 fatty acid contents, some popular seafood just doesn’t have it. If we have a look at the most popular seafood in the US, we’ll find that Americans consume salmon, shrimp, tilapia, canned tuna and Alaskan pollock. These foods make ¾ of total seafood consumption in the States.
Looking at the omega-3 content of these seafood, salmon tops the list even though the total of omega-3 depends on the type of salmon you consume. Even the way how the fish was raised (farmed versus wild-caught) can make a huge difference. Canned tuna is on the second place with white tuna having more omega-3s than light tuna. The other seafood products on the list are really low in omega-3 fatty acids. In other words, if you don’t consume lots of seafood on a daily basis, it can be beneficial for your body to choose fish that is high in omega 3. How to make a well-informed decision
Making good choices about seafood can be tricky, and controversial information from media doesn’t help. But there are ways to make informed decisions.
You can check eco-certification labels to get more information about the product. Not all labels are the same, so you can also check the Seafood Watch website that will tell you about eco-labels for seafood products. Choose those that have a yellow recommendation.
There are many consumer guides and with little research you can make a wise purchase decision when you get to the restaurant or grocery store. Many guidelines designate choices with different color signs.
Another easy way to choose the best seafood is to look for the Marine Stewardship Council label which identifies sustainable products. You can also check the Environmental Defense Fund for the mercury notice and non-profit organizations that list sustainability ratings. If you eat fish caught by yourself or your family and friends, you can always check fish advisories put by local fish departments.
Seafood is commonly found in dinner place and American households. Though seafood is very tasty, there are cons to be aware of – namely, cholesterol and sodium content. Still, seafood is very good for your health and you can easily add them to your daily meal plans.