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Seize the health benefits of seafood

Blog post by Sherri Clerk, MBA, RD,

The beginning of a new year is typically a guilt-ridden time when people resolve to restrict food intake and make a commitment to wellness. In my years of nutrition counseling, I saw countless attempts at achieving perfection fail with a vengeance. Alternatively, an effort to add positive change to one’s life leads to personal satisfaction, improved mood, feelings of accomplishment, and often an improved weight or body image!

So, what is the connection to seafood?

Nine in 10 Americans are falling short of meeting the recommended two 4-ounce servings of seafood per week. Instead of restricting, focus on how you can add more seafood! The nutritional benefits of seafood will help the waistline as well as mood AND help prevent chronic disease.SEIZE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF SEAFOOD

What makes seafood “heart healthy”?

The large concentration of omega-3 fatty acids in seafood can reduce cholesterol and inflammation in the body. Similarly, the presence of these fatty acids have been linked to a lower risk of heart attack and other cardiac issues. Studies agree that these benefits appear to come from the cardioprotective effects of omega-3 fatty acids.

How big is a serving?  How much do I have to eat?

Think of the size of a deck of cards. Portion sizes have grown. Notice the size of dinner plates when dining out in restaurants. Our perceptions of serving sizes are distorted as a result. A 4-ounce serving looks really small on the plate. The good news is that this serving size is achievable!

Which fish have the most health benefits?

All fish are an excellent source of high-quality protein. If the dish is prepared with minimal added fat and not fried, seafood is a low-calorie protein source. Additionally, as protein takes longer to digest, it leaves you feeling fuller and more satisfied longer.

Beyond protein, what are the other benefits?
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • B complex vitamins
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin A
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Low in fat
  • Low in saturated fat
  • Which health systems benefit from seafood twice each week?
    • Heart
    • Brain
    • Eyes
    • Muscles
    So…what can I do now?

    Eat more seafood: Strive for twice each week. Eat a variety of species, and at the grocery store or market, be sure to ask for responsibly or sustainably sourced options to ensure that your choices are good for you and for the planet!