The New Year’s resolution—one of the most popular ways to pledge allegiance to healthy and better living, yet one of the hardest personal promises to keep for many of us.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight in 2016 or just stay in shape and eat better, adding more Alabama Gulf Seafood to your diet is a delicious way to accomplish your goals and a refreshing substitute for red meat and poultry. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Heart Association recommend eating seafood at least twice a week because of its numerous health benefits.
A balanced diet that contains plenty of Alabama Gulf Seafood (along with a regular exercise plan) will help you reach your health and fitness goals without sacrificing flavor. Here are some advantages to eating Alabama’s most popular seafood catches.
Fish and shellfish are an excellent source of protein. In fact, eating just 3 ounces of seafood will provide more than 50 percent of the necessary protein for an adult’s daily diet.
If you’ve been eating red meat or poultry for your daily protein, try Alabama Gulf Seafood as an entrée or a substitute in one of your favorite recipes. And if you’re a meat lover, try the thicker, meatier fish varieties like shark or tuna for a different kind of steak dinner.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
We’re often told to stay away from foods high in fat, but omega-3s are another story. Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce the risk of heart disease by making blood less likely to clot and decreasing levels of fats and possibly cholesterol.
Fish and shellfish happen to be the two main dietary sources of two of the most important omega-3 fatty acids when it comes to fighting heart disease and brain and vision development in infants: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Because doctors recommend at least 250 to 500 milligrams of EPA+DHA per day, fish and shellfish are the perfect source. All fish and shellfish contain some omega-3s, but the oilier, fattier fish contain the highest levels. For a seafood dish that’ll provide at least 500 milligrams of omega-3s, try a 3-ounce serving of mackerel and oysters or a 6-ounce serving of red snapper, flounder and grouper.
Vitamins and Minerals
No matter what type of seafood you’re serving up, you can be sure it’ll be loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. All fish are great sources of Vitamin B, and fattier fish like tuna and seatrout contain plenty of Vitamin A and Vitamin D as well.
Most seafood provides plenty of minerals like phosphorous, potassium and selenium, as well as smaller amounts of other minerals. But if you’re looking for a great source of iron, zinc, copper, iodine and magnesium, try a round of oysters.
If you’re looking to lose or maintain your weight without cutting down on protein, look no further than Alabama Gulf Seafood. All seafood runs low in calories, but lean fish like flounder (100 calories per 3-ounce serving) and even fattier fish like mackerel (200 calories per 3-ounce serving) are excellent choices. Seafood is also lower in cholesterol than red meat and poultry.
Like all foods, though, the calorie levels in seafood depend on preparation and pairing. If you’re looking to cut calories, make sure to avoid frying your seafood, and try to stay away from cream- or cheese-based sauces.
All seafood is considered to be low in both total fat and saturated fat. If you’re trying to reduce the fat in your diet, try adding shrimp, crab, flounder, mahi-mahi and tuna to your menu.
Fish are also naturally low in sodium. Keep in mind, though, that frozen or canned seafood may have extra sodium added.
For more information on the health benefits of eating Alabama Gulf Seafood, visit SeafoodHealthFacts.org, SeafoodSource.com, EatGulfSeafood.com and NOAA’s FishWatch.