At our house, we’re always searching for ways to eat healthier … on a budget. One way to do just that is to add seafood to your menu at least twice a week.
This includes both fish and shellfish as the main protein on your plate. Seafood is available in a variety of price points, so it doesn’t have to be expensive.
Seafood contains an abundance of nutrients, including healthy omega-3 fats. According to Dietary Guidelines for Americans, eating about 8 ounces per week — less for young children — of a variety of seafood can help prevent heart disease.
Here Are Some Tips:
Choose wisely: Include the types of seafood that are higher in omega-3s and lower in mercury, such as salmon, trout, oysters, Atlantic and Pacific mackerel, herring and sardines.
Keep it lean and flavorful: Try grilling, broiling, roasting or baking — methods that don’t add extra fat. Spices or herbs such as dill, chili powder, paprika or cumin, and lemon or lime juice, can add flavor without adding salt.
Shellfish counts, too!: Oysters, mussels, clams and calamari, or squid, all supply healthy omega-3s. Try mussels marinara, oyster stew, steamed clams or pasta with calamari.
Get creative with seafood: Think beyond fish fillets. Try salmon patties, a shrimp stir-fry, grilled fish tacos, or clams with whole-wheat pasta. Add variety by trying a new fish such as grilled Atlantic or Pacific mackerel, herring on a salad or oven-baked pollock.
Use in a salad or sandwich: Top a salad with grilled scallops, shrimp or crab in place of steak or chicken.
Shop smart: Whiting, tilapia, sardines, canned tuna and some frozen seafood are usually lower-cost options. Check the local newspaper, online and at the store for sales, coupons and specials on seafood.
Grow up healthy with seafood: Omega-3 fats from seafood can help improve nervous-system development in infants and children. Serve seafood to children twice a week in portions appropriate for their age and appetite. A variety of seafood lower in mercury also should also be part of a healthy diet for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Know your portions: To get 8 ounces of seafood a week, use these as guides: A drained can of tuna is about 3 to 4 ounces, a salmon steak ranges from 4 to 6 ounces and a small trout is about 3 ounces.
Keep seafood handy: Canned seafood — think canned salmon, tuna or sardines — is quick and easy to use. Canned white tuna is higher in omega-3s, but canned “light” tuna is lower in mercury.
My delicious recipe for Pasta Puttanesca With Sardines uses inexpensive jarred sardines packed in olive oil. Sardines are sustainable and are full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. They are a nutritious replacement for anchovies in most recipes.