The lenten season is upon us, which means some of us are looking for a different source of protein on Fridays that isn’t beef, pork or poultry.
Never fear, seafood is here! Not only is seafood an excellent source of protein, there are also many health benefits of eating it at least a couple of times each week.
Seafood fast health facts
Seafood is great because it is high in protein but also low in calories and fat. This makes it an ideal food choice. Some low-fat types of fish include flounder and cod. Even types of fish that are fattier, such as salmon, are still fairly low in calories.
Additionally, most of the fat in seafood is polyunsaturated and includes omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s help reduce the risk of heart disease. They are also helpful for vision and brain development in babies. Seafood has high amounts of amino acids and is often easier to digest than poultry and red meat.
What are the health benefits of seafood?
When you add seafood and fish to your regular diet, you’ll start enjoying many health advantages such as:
- Building muscle tissue
- Decreased blood triglyceride levels
- Improved circulation
- Increased HDL cholesterol
- Protection from heart attacks
- Reduced risk of heart disease
What are seafood health risks to look out for?
Although fish and other seafood are considered healthy, there are a few disadvantages of seafood to consider. Some fish may contain harmful chemicals if they swim in tainted waters or if they eat tainted food. Fish with high levels of mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) can harm both the brain and the nervous system and are also link to some types of cancer.
However, you can avoid these health risk by following these tips:
- If you catch your own fish to eat, stay up to date on and follow local as well as state fish advisories
- Limit your intake of large fish
- If pregnant, avoid fish known to contain higher levels of mercury
- For kids, follow the FDA seafood serving guidelines: 1 ounce of fish for children younger than 3, 2 ounces for children ages 4 to 7
- Be picky about your sushi choices
Seafood vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamins D and B2, are an important part of a healthy diet.
Want to learn more about eating right? Check out the nutrition services we offer at Bon Secours.