Health Benefits of Seafood Tips

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What is wild salmon?

Learn about Wild Salmon

Wild salmon lives in oceans and lakes, swimming and spawning freely. Wild salmon have received much publicity lately due to their declining numbers. Political, ecological, and environmental debates about how to deal with this problem make front page news stories.

Wild salmon are known to be healthier for consumption by humans than their farmed cousins. There are a variety of reasons for this: they contain less PCPs (contaminants) than other types of salmon. Slowly but surely, however, PCPs are seeping into the waters where wild salmon exist. Salmon absorb PCPs from contaminated sediments. Wild salmon are also known to contain less levels of mercury than other varieties of salmon.

Of particular concern is the fact that some salmon marked "wild" in the marketplace are really farm-raised. Ask your fish monger or fish department personnel where the salmon came from.

When you are buying canned salmon, check the label to know what you are actually getting. Often canned salmon is actually wild salmon. The label will tell you where the salmon was caught.

Healthy Wild salmon is known to be very high in omega-3, a fatty acid nutrient known for its tremendous health benefits. Wild salmon (like all salmon) is known as a “meaty fish.” People who enjoy the texture of beef will probably like salmon. It has a firm, dense texture. This holds particularly true when the wild salmon is prepared by grilling.

How can I help both my budget and waistline?

Helping the Budget and Waistline

Everyone has budget considerations. Along with enjoying a variety of seafood health tips, here are some tips to help you combine heart healthy seafood with overall healthy living:

Instead of eating your heart healthy seafood as a fillet, steak, or main course, extend it into dishes such as casseroles, wraps, tacos, and salads. Not only will you be making the most out of your food dollar, you may also be eating fewer calories while enjoying a healthy seafood meal.

If counting carbohydrates is of concern to you, eating your healthy seafood with tortillas instead of potatoes or bread will save you calories and carbohydrates. A large tortilla is known as a food wrap. Tortillas can be used in tacos, wraps, or rolled up and used as dippers for sauces.

The cheapest way to prepare your healthy seafood meals is by steaming your seafood. Steaming is known to be one the quickest forms of cooking. Less cooking time also means less electricity used. Another benefit of steaming, or poaching, is the fact that it requires fewer extra ingredients than other methods of cooking. In general, steaming and poaching only require water. They are very frugal ways to prepare your heart healthy seafood.

Instead of covering your healthy seafood with heavy sauces, make your own vinaigrette. Simply combine some olive oil with vinegar -- rice wine or balsamic are great. Use according to your taste.

Another healthy living suggestion involves how to use oil in your meal plan. You want to decrease the amount that you use. A great way to save both calories and money is to simply lightly spritz oil on whatever you are preparing instead of heavily coating it. For instance, when a recipe calls for covering your heart healthy seafood with oil, spritz it lightly with oil instead. Lightly spritzing means to pour oil into a pump spray container (you can find these in any store's kitchen section). If do not want to use oil, use citrus juice is a good alternative. Substituting juice for oil will save you fat content, calories, and, in many cases, money. Plus, the naturally occurring citric acid will help with your digestion.

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Patricia Walters-Fischer