I am sure you have read and heard that fish are a healthy addition to any diet. They are lower in saturated fats than other meats such as beef and lamb, and contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which are considered healthy fats. Do you eat fish? If not, check out some reasons why adding fish to your diet may be a great idea.
Not only are fish low in unhealthy fats and high in healthy fats, they are also a complete protein. Complete proteins contain all of the essential amino acids that our body needs. And as long as they are cooked without additional carbohydrate containing foods, fish are carb-free. The omega-3s from fish are beneficial to all people, and specifically people with diabetes. “In people with diabetes, omega-3s can lower the risk of heart disease, raise HDL ("good") cholesterol, and improve triglyceride levels. They also reduce inflammation and may play a role in lowering the risk of arthritis, cancer, and chronic diseases.”1
Farmed vs. wild fish
You may have noticed that there are many different kinds of the same fish. Atlantic salmon, farm-raised salmon, and wild-caught salmon. The main difference is where they were caught. Farm-raised fish became popular when the need for fish was on the rise. This made it easier to meet demand and also decreased the fishing accidents and effect on wild fish populations. But there are other differences between farm-raised and wild caught fish. Farm-raised have varying diets, usually of fish in pellet form but may contain fillers such as corn. Wild-raised varieties may have larger amounts of pollutants such as mercury due to their natural habitat, but also higher levels of omega-3s due to their natural diet. Farm-raised fish are often much less expensive as well, because they are easier to obtain.
Types of fish to try
Ways to prepare
Fish can be prepared many different ways. For the best carbohydrate–free way, try seasoning with a little salt and pepper, and bake or broil in the oven until fish reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Farenheit. Grilling is another great option. Try placing the fish on top of lemon slices when grilling. This adds extra flavor, and decreases risk of flaking and breaking. Fish is a great addition to salads, tacos, even casseroles. Its large amounts of healthy fats and protein, when eaten with carbohydrates, can help to slow the progression of glucose released into the blood stream.
Speak with your physician if you have specific questions about fish. Remember that children and women who are pregnant or nursing should monitor their intake of mercury-containing fish.
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