February is American Heart Month. Your heart health is dependent on your lifestyle habits. One of the most important behaviors is diet. One specific dietary habit in need of improvement in Americans’ eating patterns is increasing consumption of seafood.
Current advice from national health organizations recommends eating two seafood meals each week. One serving of seafood is considered 3.5 ounces or 3/4 cup of flaked fish. That’s about the size of a checkbook. Make it a goal to take a healthy heart pledge and eat seafood twice each week. If you are finding it hard to eat seafood even once a month, start small. Make it a goal to eat seafood once a week and work your way up to our heart-health goal of twice weekly.
Needing ideas for how to make this possible? Your Newton Hy-Vee dietitians can provide you with many family friendly seafood recipes or try out a Simple Fix freezer meal workshop where you can take home a pre-prepared seafood meal for your family to try.
Here are a few dietitian tips to get your pledge started:
• START WITH A MILD-TASTING FISH — Develop a taste for fish. Tilapia is a good choice. It has a mild, somewhat sweet flavor and pleasant aroma. It flakes easily and can be prepared in numerous ways. Other mild seafood to try include swai, crab chunks and shrimp.
• PREPARE FISH WITH A FAVORITE FLAVOR — Swap out traditional protein sources in your favorite dishes with fish. Try tilapia fish tacos, shrimp stir-fry or pesto salmon with cheese tortellini.
• TRY SERVING WITH DIPS — Cocktail sauce, ranch dressing or tartar sauce may help ease you into liking the flavor of fish. Just watch your serving size because condiments in excess amounts can lead to hidden extra calories.
• ADD CRUNCHY COATINGS — Fish with a crunch may have more appeal. Try topping fish with crushed crackers, bread crumbs or cereals.
Besides during American Heart Month, we should be eating more fish and shellfish year-round. Why?
Eating seafood may reduce inflammation in your body, improve circulation and prevent you from getting heart disease.
Seafood contains healthy nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, iron and B-vitamins.
A serving of seafood is lower in saturated fat than the same serving size of other animal protein foods.