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Beach Eats: Why Summer is the Perfect Time to Add More Fish to Your Diet

Beach Eats

Most summer vacations will involve some time on the beach, near the ocean or a lake. While you’re vacationing at the beach, you’ll want to take advantage of the local fish available. In fact, summer is the perfect time to add more fish to your diet. It’s easy to prepare and cooks quickly. Fish can be prepared in the oven, on the stovetop, or you can avoid heating up the kitchen by cooking the fish out on the grill. In addition to eating fresh, local food, fish is also one of the healthiest proteins for you, which is why the American Heart Association recommends that you eat fish at least twice a week. If you’ve ever been curious about adding fish to your weekly meal routine, but have been intimidated by how to prepare it, read on for cooking tips and information on the health benefits of this main dish.

  • Good source of protein: Unlike fatty meat products, fish is low in saturated fat and a great source of protein.
  • Heart healthy: The Omega-3 Fatty Acids in fish benefit the heart and help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Fish high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids include salmon, lake trout and albacore tuna.
  • Ways to prepare: The healthiest way to eat fish is to grill or bake it—just avoid frying. You should also try to choose low-sodium and low-fat seasonings. Fish tastes delicious with a sprinkle of spices, squirted with lemon, or seasoned with fresh herbs.
  • Cooking fish: Since fish is delicate, prevent it from drying out by cooking it quickly over high heat, by grilling or broiling it. To grill fish, brush it with oil or spray it with a nonstick spray. Place the fish near the edge of the grill, away from the hottest part of the fire. Check the color and doneness after a few minutes of cooking. To broil fish, follow the directions for grilling the fish, but cook it under the broiler in a foil lined dish for easy cleanup.
  • Keep in mind: When increasing your intake of fish, it’s important to be aware of some risks that can be factors for certain populations. Children and pregnant women should avoid eating certain fish (like swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel) that contain high levels of mercury. It’s also important to be aware of environmental risks in the area where the fish has been caught. However, for most, the benefits of eating more fish outweigh the risks. Check out the Consumer Guide to Mercury in Fish from the Natural Resource Defense Council, or local advisories.

Do your heart and health a favor, and add fish to your weekly menu. By trading out fish for one of your regular go-to meals, you are likely cutting out unhealthy foods that are high in saturated fats from your diet. And fish is one of the most convenient proteins to make because it cooks so quickly. And there’s no time like the summer to explore the world of fish. When you’re in the mood for something simple and fresh, fish can reflect what you’re craving. Easy and delicious recipes can be found on the Internet or in your favorite cookbook. If you live near or are planning to vacation near the beach, take advantage of this fresh and guilt-free food—beach eats!