Healthy Eating—Keeping Fish on the Menu

By Marsha Hudnall
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If you’re like me, you like fish.  Some of my favorite dishes are pasta with some sort of fish – linguini with clam sauce, shrimp with feta cheese over rigatoni, grilled salmon with a soy sauce/garlic/ginger sauce, plain old tunafish sandwiches. These and similar dishes are quick, easy to make, and don’t just taste good – they’re high in protein, which can help manage our hunger and keep us satisfied.  Plus, they tend to be rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which is good for our hearts (and maybe other things, too).   

But I often worry about what else I’m eating when I choose fish.  For me, it’s one of the foods that I think of first when people talk about food safety.  Maybe it’s because I’m a dietitian, but my ears prick up when I hear reports about food safety, and fish is a food that I’ve been hearing a lot of food safety noise about for a number of years. 

So I was happy to find an online calculator for determining how much fish you can safely consume based on mercury intake. There’s also a list of fish ranked according to mercury content, and it tells you which fish to eat less of due to overfishing concerns.

I tested the calculator and saw that my consumption of fish last month left me within the ‘safe’ zone for mercury consumption.  That lifted at least one load off my mind.  Now it’s back to wondering what I’m going to get the kids for Christmas/Hanukkah/birthday (and they all happen at the same time this year!)…..

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