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December 31, 2007 at 4:56 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Fish: The Perfect Diet Food

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Fish is the perfect healthy diet food. It's low in saturated fat and calories and comes in a wide variety of tastes and textures. The meat of cooked fish is also known to aid digestion. Include fish in your meals at least twice a week to experience a multitude of health benefits.

Health Benefits

  • Protein is essential to the growth and repair of all bodily tissues and fish is high in protein, containing 15-20%.
  • The fats found in fish are unsaturated, which are recommended as opposed to saturated fats. Whitefish and shellfish contain the smallest amounts of fat, while oily fish can have substantially more.
  • Fish is also an important source of minerals: including calcium, phosphorus, iodine, and fluorine. Oily fish are a superb source of vitamins A and D.
  • Fish make the perfect diet food because of their low calorie count. Whitefish average 26 calories per ounce, and oily fish around 79 calories an ounce.
  • There are no carbohydrates in fish, making it an excellent food for popular no-carb diets.

Oily Fish

Of your two weekly servings, you should aim to make at least one of them an oily fish. These can include:

  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Fresh, not canned, tuna
  • Trout
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies
  • Swordfish
  • Herring

Oily fish are especially beneficial to your diet because they are an excellent source of essential omega-3 fatty acids. They also have softer, chewable bones that provide calcium, fluoride, and phosphorus.

The Many Benefits of Omega-3

  • Improves heart health
  • Improves mood
  • Improves memory and brain function
  • Reduces allergic symptoms
  • Lessens rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
  • Boosts eye health
  • Reduces cramping in pre-menstrual women
  • Enriches skin and hair health

One Warning

People including pregnant women should generally not eat more than two servings of oily fish per week. Oily fish can contain harmful chemicals such as dioxin and PCB, which are thought to increase the risk of cancer over long periods of time.

Non-Oily or White Fish

There are no known health risks linked to white fish, and its caloric and fat content are generally lower than oily fish. Eat as much as you want of:

  • Cod
  • Canned tuna
  • Whiting
  • Halibut
  • Red snapper
  • Sea bass
  • Shark
  • Marlin

Don't Like That Fishy Taste?

If you are on a diet and trying to lose weight, fish has too many benefits for you too just shrug off as "tastes too fishy." Try a few simple tips to make your fish dish more palatable:

  • Poached fish has a reputation of being less fishy
  • Add lemon or tomatoes
  • Try raw fish like sushi or sashimi, which tastes less fishy
  • Eat fish as fresh as possible
  • Soak the fish in milk before cooking
  • Garlic, ginger, and onion have strong enough smells that may mask the fishy odor


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