Hoboken Health Corner: March 2011
Fish: The other, other, other white meat
By Leslie Goldstein, RD
When you think about eating out at your favorite restaurant, how many of you think to order fish? Most people think about chicken wings, burgers, and steak or pasta dishes. Fish may be one of the later items on your favorite food list. However, fish is an excellent source of lean protein and can be a delicious meal in a restaurant or at home!
The American Heart Association recommends consuming 2 servings of fish each week (1 serving of fish= 3 oz)
What’s so great about eating fish you ask? Fish is a lean protein; it is low in saturated fat, a good source of omega 3 fatty acids (which decrease inflammation and heart disease risk). Fish also benefits the heart by decreasing triglyceride levels in the blood and lowering blood pressure.
Still not convinced?
Compare the nutritional stats: 3 oz. Tilapia: (110 cal., 3g fat) vs. 3 oz. Beef tenderloin: (220 cal., 14g fat)
Fishy Questions & Answers
Afraid of mercury levels?
Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and is released into the air through pollution. It can accumulate in streams and oceans-fish then absorb the mercury through their skin and as the feed. Mercury builds up in greater amounts in larger fish that eat smaller fish. For most people, the risks of mercury are not vital or a concern. People at high risk of mercury consumption: children, pregnant women and nursing mothers.
- Fish with high mercury levels: swordfish, shark, king mackerel or tilefish
- Fish with low mercury levels: salmon, shrimp, catfish and canned light tuna (*white albacore tuna contains higher levels of mercury and should be consumed only twice a week).
How do I prepare fish at home??
Bake or grill….don’t fry!! Use spices, herbs (oregano, thyme, basil) or fresh lemon. Or you can even use a light salad dressing as a marinade.
What about when buying fish? Fish should smell fresh or mild, NOT fishy. Flesh should be firm and shiny with no slime. Whole fish should have clear eyes. Use within 2 days of buying or freeze in foil. If purchasing frozen, there should be no ice crystals.
What about farm vs wild fish? Farm raised fish are raised in pens and fed fish meal that may be polluted with toxic chemicals or antibiotics. It is okay to eat once a week. Trim the fat and skin- this is where the chemicals are stored.
Some simple fish recipes:
- Sea bass or tilapia: coat fish with ½ teaspoon of canola oil, cover with 1 teaspoon of oregano and cook on broil for 15 minutes- it’s that easy!
- Tilapia: heat 1 Tablespoon canola oil in a pan, sauté fish in oil and squeeze fresh lemon over fish. Let simmer for 5 minutes each side. Tilapia can be eaten on its own or as fish tacos using tortillas, salsa, black beans, onions and peppers.
Try to include fish into your lunch or dinner repertoire once or twice a week!
About Leslie Goldstein, RD
Leslie Goldstein is a Registered Dietitian (RD) practicing in North Bergen and Hoboken, New Jersey. Leslie is an avid exerciser who combines her nutrition knowledge and passion with motivational support in counseling to help her clients make lifestyle changes. Leslie specializes in weight management, general wellness, Diabetes, bariatric surgery, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Leslie accepts most major insurances. www.healthystepnutrition.com 8100 Kennedy Blvd. North Bergen, NJ 07047 Ph: 201-378-3287 Email: LeslieGoldsteinRD@gmail.com