Tuesday, April 5, 2011

are you eating enough fish?

The new U.S. Dietary Guidelines, which are released every five years by the Department of Health and Human Services, are out! For us Paleo Peeps out there, these guidelines are no brainers- but it’s nice to see that the Guidelines are backing us up (mostly- there is some mention of soy, grains, and beans). Here is their paleo support- yay!

• Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
• Increase vegetable and fruit intake.
• Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green, red and orange vegetables.
• Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
• Choose foods that provide more potassium, dietary fiber, calcium, and vitamin D, which are nutrients of concern in American diets. These foods include vegetables and fruits.
• Choose a variety of protein foods, which include seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, and unsalted nuts and seeds.
• Increase the amount and variety of seafood consumed by choosing seafood in place of some meat and poultry.

The government is also pushing us to eat more (of some things) -- at least eight ounces of fish a week!! I know this is something (prior to Lent!) I have been lacking in my diet. I just find fish to be harder to cook. I think of fish as delicate and therefore very time consuming... but it doesn't have to be. There are many recipes out there for quick and easy or hearty and well-loved fish. So eat fish or shellfish as your main meal at least once a week for your health. Pick a day and make it your official seafood day! Like Meat-less Friday’s during Lent? Stick to it after Easter Sunday, or start a new tradition- Meat-Less Mondays anyone?

Fish is low in fat and is a good quality protein, filled with vitamins like riboflavin (Vitamin B2), which aids the body in the metabolism of amino acids, fatty acids, and carbohydrates and Vitamin D, which aids calcium absorption to help prevent osteoporosis. Fish is also rich in calcium and phosphorus and a great source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, potassium (a mineral needed for muscles, nerves, and fluid balance in the body), iodine, and magnesium. Fish is also an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, a fatty acid that our body cannot produce on its own. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in every kind of fish, but are especially high in fatty fish. Good fish choices for Omega-3’s include salmon, tuna (canned light), trout, sardines, sea bass, oysters, crab, perch, shrimp, and cod. Researchers for the American Dietetic Association found that fatty fish aid short-term memory. The Rush Institute for Healthy Aging states that people who eat at least one meal of fish per week will be significantly less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than those who never eat fish.

Have concerns about the price of fish? Why not try Tilapia? It's readily available in most markets and doesn't cost very much. It's a very mild white fish that you can coat with “paleo bread crumbs” (almond flour and egg wash) and pan fry, stick under the broiler for a few minutes with some light seasoning (oregano or old bay), or just steam in a foil packet with some veggies and lemon juice and garlic. It only takes a second to cook, really. Want to branch out: Here's how to make the perfect piece of grilled salmon (ridiculously easy!). And I’m obsessed with this spicy grilled tuna with garden salsa (use coconut oil instead of the spray for a tropical flavor!). Bonus: The tomatoes offer a hefty dose of vitamin C.

Visit your local fish market, and challenge yourself to try something new--- I know I will be going this weekend!

p.s.  I apologize for the lack and/or shortness of posts this week, I am getting sick as well as turning another year older... I will be back in full effect next week--- I promise.

1 comment:

  1. this also has me thinking--- these are the US Dietary Guidlines... what are the guidlines in other countries, and is there a more "Paleo Friendly" country vs less when it comes to these guidlines?