Have seafood questions? Ask the Seavant! A seavant is a learned person who is an expert in seafood and shellfish, including the health benefits, ease of preparation and deliciousness.
You asked and our seavant, Scott Nichols, answered!
On average, what is a good amount of fish to eat on a weekly basis?
Every five years the USDA and HHS issue food recommendations called the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The 2015 version recommends we eat 8 ounces of seafood weekly.
The minimum needed for a proper diet, however, isn’t how I make my seafood choices. I like fish. A lot. I love the enormous variety of flavors and textures. Plus fish is easier to cook than just about anything else which is nice. So, either lunch or dinner at my house is fish.
Which fish is most abundant in omega-3s?
If there were a single champion of champions, it would be red or black caviar. Nothing else comes close.
But it doesn’t have to be the champion to be great. I divided my choices into two groups—those with strong flavors and those with mild flavors. In the strong category are: mackerel, anchovy, sardine, shad and oysters (Pacific oysters have higher omega 3s than Atlantic oysters but both are great sources). In the mild category are: salmon (all are good) halibut, sablefish (which also goes by black cod), pompano, trout and striped bass.
Curious about other types of seafood? Check out this chart.
Every time I cook fish it falls apart. I usually use olive oil in a pan, heat it up and then add fish (usually cod or salmon). The cod falls apart and the salmon sticks most of the time. What am I doing wrong? Help please!
Cod in a frying pan is going vex you every time. How about this? You could cook it in a parchment or foil pouch. That way you don’t touch it and, when it’s done, you can slide it onto the plate. This won’t give you a browned caramelize surface but if that’s your target you could cook it on a cookie sheet in the oven. Rub the fish with your olive oil, put it on the pan and cook it in a hot oven (475 degrees).
The salmon should behave better for you than it is. Try this—preheat your pan over high heat. Your experience will depend on your pan. I use either cast iron or All Clad pans and I heat them for 90 seconds over the highest heat. Pour in the olive oil and immediately put the fish on it. Turn the heat down to medium high and don’t touch it! At first it will stick to the pan but after four or so minutes it will release and be easy to flip. Rub some olive oil on the top of the fish, flip it and cook it until it has the doneness you want. It may take a couple of tries to get this right but you’ll develop the specific technique for your kitchen and it’ll be great.
Does seafood cause blood pressure to rise?
Nope. In fact, omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood have been shown to reduce inflammation and triglycerides, and in turn reduce blood pressure,
How much sodium should I consume from eating seafood?
While there is no specific amount of sodium recommended per meal, a healthy person should aim to get less than 1,700-2,000 mg per day - and less is even better. Saltwater fish - which most wild fish we eat are - spend their life in salt, so naturally their flesh picks up a bit more sodium than land-based animals. That being said, most seafood options are still well under recommended limits. Of the high omega 3 species I mentioned above, halibut, salmon, sablefish, striped bass, and shad all have less than 90 mg of sodium in a four-ounce serving. Anchovies, mackerel and oysters are below 120 mg and sardines bump up to 500 mg.
I love seafood! My family does too. Our question is why so much of what's available at the grocery store is a product of China? We try to watch the country of origin on food and other products and are disappointed there is limited availability of US seafood products. What can we do to have more choices?
According to NOAA, we in the US import more than 90% of the seafood we eat. So, although domestic choices are limited that doesn’t mean choice is limited. The array of seafood choices we have is stunning.
In aquaculture as in any business there are those who practice well and those who practice poorly. The key here is to figure out who practices well. There are many groups that rate or certify fish production practices such as Aquaculture Stewardship Council, Marine Stewardship Council, Best Aquaculture Practices, FishWise, National Aquarium, Aquarium of the Pacific and Seafood Watch. Additionally, many grocers are deeply and broadly knowledgeable about seafood; engage your retailer in a discussion.
About Scott Nichols
Scott Nichols is the founder and principal of Food’s Future, LLC and works to accelerate aquaculture’s contribution to our future food supply. Prior to founding Food's Future, Scott was co-founder and managing director at Verlasso Harmoniously Raised Fish.
To learn more, visit foodsfuture.org and follow Scott on Twitter.
With people across the country observing Lent, a religious tradition observed during the 40 days before Easter, it’s time to rethink the standard family meal menu.
Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP) encourages eating two servings of seafood per week – as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans – to make a positive commitment to your and your family’s health during Lent and throughout the year.
This nearly eight-week period typically calls for a special diet. Specifically, red meat is cut out on Fridays for some and for the entirety of Lent for others. According to Datassential, 26 percent of consumers observe lent and of those, 41 percent said they eat fish on Fridays instead of meat.
“Research from the Journal of the American Medical Association shows eating seafood two to three times per week reduces the risk of death from any health-related cause,” said Linda Cornish, president of SNP. “As a lean protein, seafood is a quality source for omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to human health and development.”
With so many seafood options available, including Alaska pollock, snapper, salmon and more, it can be easy to incorporate this nutritious lean protein into your diet.
During Lent, a number of places offer specials and promotions. Below is a list we've compiled to help you navigate stores and restaurants, while observing the holiday:
For more information about observing Lent and seafood consumption, click here.
What do salmon, walnuts, avocados, and extra virgin olive oil have in common?
They’re all sources of good fats, of course!
Fats play an essential role in human health from head (brain) to toe (joints), and every cell in between, according to Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, RD. Fats also help us feel full and ensure healthy communication between nerve impulses and the transfer of nutrients through the bloodstream. But not all fats are these “good fats.”
Embrace unsaturated fats found in foods such as walnuts, seeds, plant oils, avocados, and fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, sardines, mackerel and herring. In particular, seafood is a good-fat food that supplies the best source of essential omega-3s DHA and EPA, which are polyunsaturated fatty acids that may help lower the risk of heart disease, depression, dementia, and arthritis. They are essential because your body can't make them.
Top 5 Reasons to Be on #TeamGoodFat
To combat body fat and live a longer, healthier life, you have to eat fat – the right kind of fat.
Seafood & Healthy Fats
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that we shift from a diet high in saturated fats (like those found in meat) to a diet rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fats (like those found in seafood, walnuts and avocados). For seafood lovers, that’s no problem! To keep it simple, incorporate a variety of seafood into your meal plan – striving for at least 2-3 servings per week to help ensure that you are meeting your needs for heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. There are so many choices with seafood that you will never get bored – and you may find another favorite fish.
February is American Heart Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness about cardiovascular disease, which remains the leading global cause of death each year.
Seafood Nutrition Partnership aims to reduce the risks of heart disease by educating Americans about the health benefits of seafood and building awareness of seafood’s essential nutritional value. Specifically, eating seafood twice a week has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
In fact, a Mediterranean diet that includes seafood at least twice a week reduces the risk of heart disease by as much as 30 percent, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in seafood, help your heart in several ways. They curb inflammation in the blood vessels (and the rest of your body). At high doses they also make abnormal heart rhythms less likely and lower your level of blood fats called triglycerides. Finally, they can slow plaque buildup inside the blood vessels.
Additionally, the American Heart Association recommends 1 gram a day of EPA plus DHA for people with heart disease. Eating oily fish is best, but your doctor might recommend a fish oil capsule. If you've had a heart attack, a prescription dose of omega-3s may help protect your heart. Some studies show fewer heart attacks and fewer heart disease deaths among heart attack survivors who boosted their levels of omega-3. Click here to learn which fish is the richest in omega-3s.
Take the Pledge to Eat #Seafood2xWk
Eating seafood regularly can save lives and significantly improve overall health. Consuming two servings each week, as recommended by leading health organizations including the American Heart Association, is an easy way to make a positive commitment to your health and the health of those around you. Click here to take the pledge.
Need somewhere to start? Try this salmon recipe delivers in taste, affordability, and omega-3s.
Cumin Scented Salmon with Black Bean Stew
Created By Chef Kelly Armetta, Hyatt Regency Boston
Cost Per Recipe: $12.16
Omega-3 Per Serving: 500-2000 mg
The staff, Board of Directors, and chef ambassadors of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership invite the public to join us in sharing the health impacts they have achieved through the Healthy Heart Pledge. We invite you to share your story!
Seafood Nutrition Partnership is a 501(c)3 with a mission to inspire a healthier America through partnerships and outreach to raise awareness about the essential nutritional benefits of eating seafood.
© 2018 Seafood Nutrition Partnership. All Rights Reserved.