3 Kinds of Seafood You Never Eat But Should
Sick of salmon? We've got ideas to help you reel in a more exciting catch.
Few foods pack the nutritional punch of fish. Not only is it high in protein and low in fat, but studies have shown that regularly consuming seafood high in omega-3s is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, less age-related cognitive decline and better sleep.
Yet the average American eats less than 15 pounds of fish a year (compared with almost 58 pounds of chicken), and most of what we do consume consists of just three kinds: shrimp, salmon and canned tuna.
"I hate to attack a food group that's good for you, but variety is important for health," says nutritionist Heidi Skolnik, who works with the New York Giants and dancers at the Juilliard School. "Different fish provide different benefits, and if you expand your palate, you won't get bored."
Though Skolnik recommends eating fish two or three times a week, she's quick to point out that just once a week has been shown to yield a benefit. In fact, a Danish study of more than 48,000 women found that those who consistently ate little to no fish had a risk of cardiovascular disease almost three times higher than those who ate it at least once a week. Here's how you can sneak more fish into your diet.
If you like shrimp...
Try: Langostino tails. Sold frozen at grocery stores like Trader Joe's, these lobsterlike tails are a low-calorie protein source with four times the energy-maintaining iron of shrimp. A three-ounce serving has roughly as much iron as a hard-boiled egg but five fewer grams of fat. Skolnik suggests subbing the tails for shrimp in a scampi recipe or using them in fish tacos.
Photo: Philip Friedman/Studio D and Devon Jarvis/Studio D
If you like canned tuna...
Try: Canned trout. It's as quick and easy to prepare as canned tuna, but one three-ounce serving of trout contains more than 500 milligrams of heart-healthy omega-3s. The fish is also an excellent source of vitamins B and D (essential for healthy skin and hair), with one serving meeting almost 100 percent of your daily need of each. Mix the trout into a burger, mash it with mayo and lemon juice or sprinkle it over a salad.
If you like salmon...
Try: Sardines. Once you get past their fishy reputation, you'll find that sardines are nutritional powerhouses. A three-ounce serving has more calcium than eight ounces of milk, almost as much potassium as a banana, and as much magnesium as two cups of raw kale. "Sardines—the fresh fish, not the ones in a can—are delicious," says Isabel Smith, a New York–based registered dietitian who pan-roasts them with garlic, tomatoes and spinach. "If you're turned off by the whole fish, ask the fishmonger to fillet them for you"—so you're off the hook.