We get told all the time “eat this” or “don’t eat that”. Usually we don’t know the real reason why we are told these things. A lot of the time we just do what Mom told us to do as kids and we don’t question it. It’s Mom, after all. Some of the things we are told are common sense. Eat less sugar! Eat less processed food! Eat more veggies! Some of the things we are told are actually part of a marketing system that we are totally unaware of. For instance the term light on food can actually only refer to colour, not nutritional content. But, I am not going there today.
One of the things we get told is “eat more fish”. Why? Why fish?
- First, let’s start that we need to eat protein. Most of us don’t actually have enough protein in our diet. Protein is a really important part of our diet, I have talked about this before in Protein Fast Facts Fish is a great source of protein. It is a low-fat high quality protein.
- Second, fish, in general, is filled with vitamins such as D and B2 (riboflavin). It is rich in calcium and phosphorus and is a great source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium.
- Third, white-fleshed fish, such as cod, sole, swordfish, tilapia, and halibut, in particular, are lower in fat than any other source of animal protein.
- Fourth, oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout and herring, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, or the “good” fats.
- Fifth, fish are low in the “bad” fats commonly found in red meat, called omega-6 fatty acids.
So, having said all of that, how much are we supposed to eat?
Generally, we should eat fish and seafood twice a week. You can actually eat a larger portion size because it is so low in fat, that’s a good thing. Some people are concerned about heavy metals found in some fish. Obviously that is something to be aware of, but most of us simply don’t eat enough anyway. In my opinion, if you eat a variety of wild, not farmed, shellfish and seafood, you will be consuming the nutrition you need without the metals you don’t.
A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle. – Gloria Steinem