Fish is a healthy, high-protein food that has a rightful place in a well-balanced diet. Fish is especially important for its omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential “good” fats that humans don’t produce on their own.White-fleshed fish, in particular, is lower in fat than any other source of animal protein, and oily fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, or the “good” fats. Since the human body can’t make significant amounts of these essential nutrients, fish are an important part of the diet.
Fish is generally considered to be among the best foods you can eat for a healthy heart.In one study of more than 40,000 male health professionals in the US, those who regularly ate 1 or more servings of fish per week had a 15% lower risk of heart disease.Omega-3 fatty acids are absolutely essential for growth and development.The omega-3 fatty acid (DHA) is especially important, because it accumulates in the developing brain and eye.Studies have shown that people who eat fish every week have more grey matter in the centers of the brain that regulate emotion and memory.
This fish is high in omega-3s, ranging from about 750 mg to 1,270 mg per 75-gram serving. They are also a good source of vitamin D, with one serving providing 100 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA)-and the bones in canned salmon provide calcium. Because contaminant risk is low, there is no limit on consumption.
Canned tuna is a popular pantry staple for good reason. It is a quick, cheap source of low-fat protein and is rich in vitamins B12 and D, calcium and iron. However, albacore tuna contains almost three times as much mercury as skipjack tuna, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. Therefore, pregnant women and young children should focus on consuming primarily skipjack, or light varieties of tuna. Furthermore, canned tuna can be high in sodium, so look for low-sodium versions if you’re watching your salt intake.
Rich in iodine, shrimp is a low-fat, low-calorie shellfish that can be enjoyed weekly, according to the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. Shrimp can be boiled, grilled, sauteed or added to a salad while still retaining the same delicious taste.
The smaller the fish, the less mercury it contains. Older, larger fish eat the small fish and therefore absorb their mercury and toxins. Sardines, such as herring, are small fish that are low in mercury and high in essential omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, vitamin D and several B-vitamins. They are sometimes enjoyed plain on crackers or out of a can. Because many canned versions are high in sodium, consume them in moderation or look for low-sodium canned versions if you are controlling your sodium intake.