Fish is versatile, delicious and has many health benefits. If you’re trying to lose weight, we have seven healthy fish you should add to your dinner lineup.
How much fish do you eat each week? If you’re like half of all Americans, you’re probably not meeting the experts’ recommendations. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend two servings of fish per week for better health. According to the AHA, fish is a low-calorie source of high-quality protein that’s a perfect addition to a dieter’s menu. Lower calories mean larger portions. Some fish are also unique in that they contain important omega-3 fatty acids, which are said to prevent heart disease and improve memory.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is essential for a healthy brain and that deficiencies are associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Consistent intake of DHA has been shown to reduce the risk of cognitive decline while enhancing memory and learning abilities.
While they protect your brain, they also protect your heart. According to the Mayo Clinic, omega-3s reduce inflammation, cholesterol, blood pressure, and the risk of stroke and heart failure. In fact, the results of more than 20 studies on more than 20 studies have shown that eating one or two servings of oily fish per week reduces the risk of dying from heart disease by 36 percent.
According to the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, other conditions where omega-3 may show some benefit include macular degeneration (an eye disease that can lead to blindness) and rheumatoid arthritis.
With so many benefits, why do so many people avoid fish? This is often due to the perception that it has a “fishy” taste. However, there are many options such as trout or halibut that are very mild in flavor. Fresh fish can also be expensive, but frozen fish is usually just as good and less expensive. Many people are also concerned about contaminants in seafood, such as mercury. According to the FDA, you can put your mind at ease. For most adults, the benefits of eating fish outweigh the potential risks from contaminants. The AHA says eating a variety of fish can also help minimize potential problems caused by environmental pollution. You can also check local fish safety advisories in local lakes, rivers and coastal areas.
Please considerChildren and pregnant women should be extra careful and should avoid eating the fish most contaminated with mercury (such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish).
If you want to add fish to your weekly menu, but don’t know where to start, don’t worry. We have tons of healthy fish and seafood recipes at The Leaf that are perfect for you Nutrisystem program.
Here are seven healthy fish that you can add to your weight loss menu as soon as possible.
1. Salmon (wild and farmed)
If you want to get more omega-3 in your diet, salmon is the fish for you. Wild salmon has a whopping 1,774 mg per six-ounce serving. Farmed salmon has more, 4,504 milligrams of these healthy fats. With its rich taste, it is rich in protein and relatively low in calories. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), three ounces of salmon contain about 145 calories. Reduce this to two ounces to count as one PowerFuel on the Nutrisystem program.
Enjoy this mighty bowl of salmon tahini. >:
2. Tuna (Albacore and Light)
Another omega-3 rich fish is albacore tuna. It contains 733 milligrams of omega-3 per 3-ounce serving, trailing salmon and swordfish. Tur is one of the highest in mercury and other contaminants. It’s also overfished, so tuna is a much better choice. Light tuna has only 228 milligrams of omega-3, but it’s lower in mercury than albacore. If you’re a fan of tuna, you can alternate between the two to reduce your intake of this toxin. Albacore contains 108 calories per three-ounce serving, while albacore tuna has only 89 calories, according to the USDA. Or would be the perfect PowerFuel in your Nutrisystem plan.
Do you love Nutrisystem? Classic tuna salad lunch appetizer. Try this open-faced tuna melt recipe
Heart-healthy halibut is another great healthy fish. It provides 740 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids in each 5.6-ounce serving. A three-ounce fillet has just 77 calories and 15 grams of protein, the USDA says. Try adding it to tacos or serving it with brown rice and fresh veggies for a delicious Flex Meal.
Your tacos have never been so healthy! This flaky white-fleshed fish is perfect for this spicy, savory appetizer. Nutrisystem Fish Taco Recipe. >: You will also like our recipe Grilled Rosemary Halibut Fillet. >:
4. Mackerel (Atlantic and Spanish)
Sumbria has been described as a “beautiful and underrated fish” by SeafoodSource. The USDA shares that a three-ounce serving of Atlantic mackerel contains about 174 calories per three-ounce serving, while Spanish mackerel is slightly lower at just 118 calories per serving. According to the Cleveland Clinic, three ounces of mackerel has about 2,500 milligrams of omega-3s. Not surprisingly, it is often used in fish oil supplements.
One eight-ounce fillet of this mild-flavored, white, flaky fish has just 189 calories, according to the USDA. Atlantic cod is overfished, so look for Pacific cod caught in Alaska, West Coast or British Columbia, Canada as recommended by SeafoodWatch.org. Cod contains 284 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per 6.3-ounce serving.
Dinner is made easy with this recipe One pan black cod and vegetables. >:
Trout come in many varieties, including freshwater, saltwater, wild caught, and farmed. They’re a great “starter” option if you think you don’t like fish because they have a very mild and nutty flavor, says FishChoice. According to the USDA, a 2.2-ounce serving of trout provides 581 mg of omega-3s and only about 117 calories.
7. Mahi Mahi
If you enjoy healthy fish, you will love mahi mahi. Unlike the other fish featured here, it is not found in cold water. According to SeafoodSource, it is found in tropical waters such as those around Hawaii. Mahi The term mahi is Hawaiian for what has long been known as dolphinfish. It was renamed because many people confused the dolphinfish with the popular marine mammal dolphins. Its texture, mild flavor and “grill-ability” are reminiscent of swordfish, but are a better choice because of swordfish’s high mercury levels, as warned by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The USDA states that a four-ounce serving has just 99 calories. Although not a cold-water fish, it still has 221 milligrams of omega-3s in each 5.6-ounce serving.
Discover the taste of Mahi Mahi’s tropical origins. Check out this Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Mango Salsa. >:
*All Omega-3 values provided are from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.