Seems like there’s no end to the list of benefits from eating seafood. Ounce for ounce, you get more protein and less fat and fewer calories from most fish and shellfish.
And there are heart-health benefits as well as weight-loss ones.
But just how can you get more seafood in your diet if you’ve never been a fan? Here are easy ideas you can try right now.
At home, start by replacing one meat meal each week with a fish dish. Fish burgers, tacos and kebabs are easy recipes with a familiar taste. In a month or two, step up to two seafood meals every week.
Make friends with the fishmonger at your local supermarket so you can get the freshest fare. He or she can also filet whole fish choices for you to make preparation easier.
When eating out, get into the habit of ordering seafood. If you’re concerned about unwanted calories, request that your fish dish be simply baked or poached with any sauce on the side. Restaurant meals might even inspire you if you’ve been uneasy about cooking fish yourself.
There are many varieties to try to keep your diet interesting. But experts suggest starting with salmon, preferably wild rather than farmed, because of its heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Shellfish like shrimp, clams, oysters and scallops are other tasty choices with important minerals. (Concerns about their cholesterol content have been resolved for the most part, but check with your doctor if high cholesterol is a concern for you.) And they’re easy to steam, boil or lightly saute.
Just remember, whether eating in or out, to skip any breading, deep frying and fatty or creamy sauces so that your choices stay low in calories. Also, be careful with shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish because of mercury concerns.
The American Heart Association has more tips on improving heart health with fish.