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Why should seafood be included in your diet? Are you eating enough?
Nashville, Ark. – Most Americans are eating seafood, but are they eating enough? According
to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, most people fall short of the recommended
Why should seafood be included in your diet? Fish and shellfish, referred
to as “seafood,” are nutrient-rich protein foods, and eating it at least two times
a week is associated with reduced heart disease. Seafood is high in “omega-3 fatty
acids”, which are healthy fats.
It is recommended that at least two servings of seafood, or 8 ounces,
be included in an overall healthy meal plan each week. Overall, about 80 to 90 percent
of consumers are not meeting the recommendations.
Additionally, a review of published studies that looked at fish consumption’s
link to heart health pointed to consistent evidence supporting a reduced risk of heart
disease when fish, high in Omega 3 fatty acids, was included in the diet. Fish which
is high in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, anchovies,
trout and tuna.
While most people love fried catfish and enjoy eating it on regular basis,
it is important to include other fish in the diet. It is also important to find alternative
ways to enjoy fish rather than traditional fried catfish. Baked, grilled or broiled
fish are all delicious ways to prepare fish.
When buying fish, always choose fish that has been kept at a safe temperature.
That often means fish is frozen when we purchase it locally. Frozen fish is high quality
and some fish in the fresh case at the grocery store may have been previously frozen.
Fish should have a mild smell. Strong smelling fish may be old or may have been thawed
and refrozen. On fresh fish, look at the eyes and flesh of the fish. The flesh of
the fish should be firm and the eyes should be clear. Fresh fish steaks and fillets
should be moist with no drying around the edges. When buying frozen fish, choose packages
that are free of frost and ice crystals. This is an indication the fish has been thawed
If you are purchasing raw shellfish, choose it carefully. Know the seller.
Buy only from approved, reputable sources. All “shell on” seafood should be shipped
with a certified shippers tag.
Always wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling raw fish and
keep raw fish separate from other ready-to-eat foods. Clean and disinfect surfaces
and cutting boards when preparing the fish. Kitchen tools that have come in contact
with fresh or thawed fish should be cleaned in hot soapy water or disinfected in the
If you plan to eat your fresh catch or fresh fish you have purchased within
two days, you can store it safely in the refrigerator; otherwise, it will need to
be put in the freezer. When you plan to eat it, thaw the fish in the refrigerator
overnight for best results.
It is important to keep seafood cold. Refrigerate live shellfish properly.
Live shellfish, such as clams, mussels, and oysters should be stored loosely covered
with a damp cloth in a well-ventilated refrigerator, not air-tight plastic bags or
containers. The shell may gape naturally but should close tightly when tapped. This
is an indication they are still alive. If not alive, they should be discarded.
Fish should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. It should
flake easily with a fork, but use an instant read meat thermometer for checking the
internal temperature. Shellfish such as shrimp and scallops turn from fairly clear
to cloudy when done. Oysters, clams and mussels open their shells when they are cooked.
Once fish has been cooked, it will stay safe at room temperature for up
to two hours unless the temperature is above 90 degrees, then the time drops to one
Warm spring days are perfect for fishing. If you plan to fish one of the
many lakes or pond fish, be sure to keep the fish in a live well or on a stringer
until cleaned. It should be put on ice immediately once it is cleaned.
The Food and Drug Administration has more information on keeping seafood
safe. Or check out the Howard County Extension Office for a fact sheet on “Safe Handling
and Preparation of Fish and Shellfish Products”. Call me at 870-845-7517 or visit
our office located on the second floor of the courthouse.
This is a great recipe for adding more omega-3 fish to your diet. It is
easy to prepare and works great with both fresh fillets and frozen salmon steaks.
Include steamed asparagus and wild rice for a delicious meal.
1pound salmon fillet or steaks
1 Tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Place salmon, skin side down, in a shallow dish. In a small bowl, mix
remaining ingredients together; pour over salmon. Cover; refrigerate at least 15 minutes
but no longer than 1 hour.
Set oven to broil. Remove salmon from marinade; reserve marinade. Place
salmon, skin side down, on rack in broiler pan. Broil with top 4 to 6 inches from
heat 10 to 15 minutes, brushing 2 to 3 times with marinade, until fish flakes easily
with fork or internal temperature reaches 145⁰F. Discard remaining marinade.
Yield: 4 servings
Nutrition Information per Serving: 270 calories, total fat: 15g, sodium: 390 mg, carbohydrates:
By Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff ChairThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff Chair U of A Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service 421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852 (870) 845-7517 email@example.com
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity,
sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran
status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative
Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.