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Seafood for your diet

Q. I heard that fish is good for you because of Omega-3’s, what are they and why are they good for health?

Seafood for your diet

Ask the dietitian: Questions and Answers

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A. Fish is a healthy choice because it is a good source of protein and most are low in saturated fat. Fish also provides Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s are essential in the diet because the body cannot make them and we have to get omega 3-s from foods like fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. Omega-3 fatty acids include EPA and DHA which have been shown to provide health benefits such as lowering cholesterol and reducing risk for heart disease. You can gain the benefits of Omega-3’s by enjoying up to 12 ounces of low-mercury fish per week such as salmon, light tuna, herring, and sardines as well as including other sources in their diet such as soybean oil, flaxseed and walnuts.


Q. What is “sustainable seafood?”

A. Sustainable seafood comes from fish or shellfish species that are caught or farmed in ways that do not damage our environment and will not contribute to the collapse of that fish population. Since many fish populations are being over fished to the point of collapse it is important to choose sustainable seafood


Q. How can I purchase the best seafood when shopping?

A. First, check out the surrounding area where the fish is sold. Make sure it is clean and that the fish is being properly stored on ice or refrigerated. Make sure the fish smells mild and not too “fishy”. Next check the appearance of the fish. It should be shiny, have bright gills, and clear eyes. It should be firm to the touch and not show any darkening, discoloration, or dry edges. It is important to make sure you look for the freshest fish, because fish that has been sitting around too long can cause illness. If the shells are cracked or open do not select them. When buying frozen seafood avoid any whose package or bag is torn or open. Also make sure that there are no ice crystals forming on the fish.


Our dietitians receive hundreds of questions each year about a wide variety of nutrition topics. Their timely and trustworthy insights and ideas can help you and your family live healthier lives. Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with your own doctor and registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that’s right for you.

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