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luni, 18 iulie 2011


For good health, a balanced and healthy diet is one of the prerequisites. Fish and other seafood are an essential part of a balanced diet as they are great low-fat sources of many nutrients. They are easiest source of protein and very important source of essential fatty acids. A wide variety of vitamins and minerals are also contained by it. Also, they are low in calories and saturated fats, which make it ideal food for any weight loss eating plan. Recently, the federal government has updated the official guide to healthful eating list, which enlists increasing intake of seafood amid its key recommendations.

In most of cultures, fish and other seafood is a staple food. They are full of nutrition and flavor. Seafood is the palate’s greatest pleasure for many people. Oysters, crab, clams, tuna, and other seafood offer high-quality protein yet low in cholesterol and fat. They also deliver other important nutrients like B vitamins, potassium, calcium, iron, niacin, and phosphorus. A lot of evidence suggests that people who regularly consume fish and seafood in their diet have a reduced risk of unwanted weight gain. The American Heart Association also recommended in 2002 to consume at least 2 servings of fish in a week, specifically fatty fish.

Nutrition Facts

A 4 oz. serving of fish, approximately the amount of fish in a small can of tuna or an ordinary tuna sandwich receives you halfway to your weekly goal. Most of us should consume about 8 oz. of seafood every week. For pregnant or breast-feeding women, 12 oz. serving is recommended to take every week. A seafood serving size of about 3-oz. contains 20 g of protein and around 100 calories on average. Most fish contain below 5 g of fat per one serving, the amount is less than 5 % of your recommended daily intake. Seafood provides high levels of B vitamins and minerals and also contains a reasonable amount of cholesterol. For health and nutrition, seafood is called as “one of the best choices” by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The fats included in the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) family are known as ‘essential fatty acids’ and these are the good fats for health. These fatty acids are very important for health and cannot be produced in the human body. So, people must obtain these fatty acids from diet. Omega-3 essential fats are found almost only in fish and seafood. Omega-3 fatty acids are included in the PUFAs. A fish and seafood are rich sources of Omega 3 fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These healthful fatty acids can decrease heart arrhythmia and thus sudden cardiac death. They also help to prevent cardiovascular disease as they reduce triglycerides level and blood pressure and prevent formation of blood clots that responsible for heart stroke.

The number of scientific researches has been done on omega-3 and results have clearly indicated that they have an important role in fetal growth and also in brain development in infants and unborn babies. Also, they are very important for the functions of the body and the healthy maintenance. The health benefits of a fish and seafood rich diet is also connected to a considerable reduce in the symptoms of inflammatory diseases like colitis and arthritis. Also, they significantly decrease the risk of some forms of cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Some new studies have shown that these healthful fatty acids may help to prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a disease that responsible for impaired vision.

According to dietary guidelines, women who consume omega-3, particularly DHA, not less than eight ounces of seafood per week, may have their babies with sharp cognitive and visual development. Studies have shown that children who consume more fish may have slightly higher IQs than those who consume less. Fishes like Atlantic salmon, Australian salmon, Blue Mackerel, Blue Eye Trevalla, Silver Perch, Blue Warehou, Pilchards, Redfish, Sea Mullet, Tailor, Threadfin Bream, Rainbow Trout, and Yellowtail Kingfish are high in Omega 3. Some seafoods like Pacific oysters, sardines, herring, and anchovies are best sources of Omega 3.

Good Source of B Vitamins

Fish and other seafood are good source of B vitamins, including B-12, B-6, biotin and niacin. All these vitamins are essential for a good digestion, energy production, healthy nervous system and healthy skin, nails and hair. Fatty fish like whitefish, mackerel and salmon are also high in vitamin A and vitamin D. Vitamin A protects the body against disease and vitamin D helps to maintain phosphorous and calcium levels in the body.

Rich in Minerals

The minerals like potassium, iron, phosphorus and zinc are also contained by seafood in good amount. An oyster is a good source of copper which is essential for red blood cells. Salmon and sardines are high in bone-building calcium. Both shellfish and saltwater fish are good source of iodine that needed to prevent goiter. Fish are also low in sodium, excluding shellfish. Avoid addition of tartar sauce or butter to your fish and in place of this, you can use herbs like curry powder, paprika, oregano or basil, to improve their flavors.


Most fish contains about twenty milligrams of cholesterol per ounce serving, similar to poultry and red meat. Shrimp is fully packed with cholesterol. Four ounces of shrimp provide about 160 mg cholesterol. American Heart Association recommended consuming less than 300 mg of cholesterol per day. Some shellfish are also a good source of cholesterol than red meat. But, the fat contained by it is mainly poly-unsaturated. To people who are following some fat and cholesterol-restricted diets, shellfish may be allowed.


Some fish contain methyl mercury which may be harmful for the developing nervous system of an infant or unborn baby. Some fishes which are obtained from some lakes and streams may contain damaging levels of polychlorinated biphenyls. Shark, king mackerel, swordfish and tilefish contain high levels of methylmercury so pregnant women and nursing mothers are advised to stay away from these fishes. The dietary guidelines say that pregnant or breast-feeding women can consume any type of tuna they like but should not consume greater than six ounces of white tuna per week as it contains more mercury.

Safety and freshness

For safety concern, cook fish until its internal temperature becomes 145 degrees. Check it to see freshness of it. A sniff is the best way to say about its freshness. If it have a smell like fishy, then it may be not fresh. When the flesh of shrimp scallops and lobster turns into pearly-opaque and firm, they are ready to consume. For the maximum nutritional benefit, try to consume a variety of seafood. Avoid frying of fish while cooking as it adds extra amounts of fat and salt.

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