The Facts on Fish
During Lent, fish is a Friday food of choice. From neighborhood fish fries to the grocery store, fish is an affordable meal throughout the season! However, there are many reasons to choose fish and seafood for your meals all year long.
Fish provides high quality protein without the saturated fats found in other meats, and can be a major source of omega-3 fatty acids. Varieties of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including salmon, herring, lake trout, sardines and tuna, can contribute to heart health and help mitigate inflammation in the body.
The American Heart Association recommends eating 2-3 servings of fish per week, with one serving equaling 3 ounces (about the size of a deck of cards). Baking, grilling and broiling fish using herbs, blackening spices, citrus juices, capers or seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs helps maintain its nutritious profile while adding even more delicious flavor.
Some shoppers may have concerns about the safety of consuming fish on a regular basis. Large, mature, predatory fish such as shark, tilefish, swordfish and king mackerel can contain higher levels of mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls and other environmental contaminants. Per the FDA, these varieties should be avoided by pregnant women and young children.
However, more commonly consumed fish such as salmon, pollock, catfish, cod and canned light tuna contain low levels of mercury. Itâ€™s safe to consume up to 12 ounces of these fish per week. Additionally, removing the skin and surface fat from fresh fish, as well as eating a variety of low mercury fish, can reduce the amount of mercury in your diet. For most people, the health benefits of consuming fish outweigh the risks.
For the most up-to-date recommendations regarding fish safety, visit: http://www.fda.gov/food/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm110591.htm