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Eat Fish for Better Health

Do you eat fish at least twice a week?  Studies show you should do this for good health. Seafood is high in nutrients, including healthy Omega- 3 fats.  The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends adults eating about 8 ounces of seafood per week.  Eating a variety of seafood can help prevent heart disease.  Here are some tips to help you eat more seafood:

1.       Eat a variety of seafood.

Include some that are higher in Omega -3’s and lower in mercury, such as salmon, trout, oysters, Atlantic and Pacific mackerel, herring and sardines.

2.        Keep it lean and flavorful

Try grilling, broiling, roasting or baking- they don’t add extra fat. Avoid breading or frying seafood and creamy sauces, which add calories and fat. Using spices or herbs such as dill, chili powder, paprika, or cumin and lemon or lime juice, can add flavor without adding salt.

3.       Shop smart

Eating more seafood does not have to be expensive. Tilapia, sardines, canned tuna, and some frozen seafood are usually lower cost options. Check the newspaper, online and at the store for sales, coupons, and specials to help save money on seafood.

4.       Grow up healthy with seafood

Omega-3 fats from seafood can help improve the nervous system development in infants and children. Serve seafood to children twice a week in portions that are appropriate for their age and appetite. A variety of seafood lower mercury should also be part of a healthy diet for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

5.       Know your seafood portions

To get 8 ounces of seafood a week, use these guides. A drained can is about 3 to 4 ounces, a salmon steak ranges from 4 to 6 ounces, and 1 small trout is about 3 ounces.

Susan Zies , Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension.

Sources: USDA, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, DG Tip Sheet No. 15, December 2011. www.Choosemyplate.gov

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