Summer is here and that means picnics and grilling with family and friends. Traditionally, meats are the favored food to grill.  Hot dogs and hamburgers might be quick and easy, but are loaded with fat, sodium, preservatives and sometimes questionable content.  Steaks and ribs are less processed but can contribute a heavy dose of saturated fat, cholesterol and calories; particularly in the amounts the average person tends to eat in one sitting.   This month, why not rethink the typical cookout food choices and try some lighter, fresh fare?

A healthier alternative?  FISH!  

 Fish are lower in calories and saturated fat which is good for your heart and weight.  Fish are a great source of protein and completely natural – no additives nor preservatives.  Here’s a comparison:

Food Calories Saturated Fat Cholesterol Sodium Protein
Haddock (4oz) 133 0 93 mg 113 mg 28 g
Hot Dog

(2 links)

363 13 g 58 mg 1254 mg 12 g
Hamburger

(4 oz)

306 8 g 103 mg 85 mg 29 g

Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating 2 servings of fish per week as part of a healthy eating plan.  This amount is equal to about 29 lbs per year, per person. Currently, Americans consume about 15 lbs per year of seafood.  In contrast, we consume about 53 lbs of beef and 58 lbs of chicken annually.

With June being World Ocean Month, this is a perfect time to try adding fish to your diet.  Firm fish such as salmon, tuna, Mahi-Mahi and Haddock are good choices for grilling.  To get started, here are two recipes for the summer months.

Grilled Salmon Fillet

(adapted from and see photo at Easy Grilled Salmon. https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/easy_grilled_salmon/)

Serving Size:  1

4 oz salmon fillet with skin

Canola oil

Sauce:  low sodium soy sauce, lemon, ginger, crushed garlic, chives, honey (optional)

Directions:

  1. Marinate fish in sauce in the refrigerator for a few hours or while grill heats (about 20 minutes) skin side up.
  2. Rub oil on grill and on fish to prevent sticking while it cooks.
  3. To cook, place side of fish without the skin on grill for 1-3 minutes depending upon thickness.
  4. Flip and put skin side down onto grill and cook until done (3-5 minutes).

Note:  Experiment with different flavors in the sauce until finding one that tastes best.

(adapted from and see photo at  Easy Fish Tacos. http://www.lifeisbutadish.com/easy-fish-tacos/)

Serving Size:  1

4 oz fish fillet (tilapia, cod, catfish, haddock)

Seasoning for the filet:  chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin or other favorite spices.

1-2 corn tortillas

Sliced avocado

Shredded red/purple cabbage

Diced tomato

Salsa and cilantro (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine spices in bowl, place fish fillet in spices and coat each side.
  2. For pan frying, spray thin layer of oil in pan to prevent sticking. Cook 8-10 minutes or until done.  To cook in oven, cook 15 min at 375 degrees.  Or, fish can be grilled.  Rub oil on grill before cooking to prevent sticking to grill.
  3. Heat tortillas on grill or stove until warm.
  4. Flake fish and put pieces into center of tortilla. Add cabbage, avocado, tomato, salsa and cilantro.  Fold and enjoy!

 

Sources:

  1. Overview of the U.S. Seafood Supply

https://www.foodindustry.com/files/Overview_of_the_US_Seafood_Supply.pdf

  1. Fisheries of the United States, 2016 Report.

https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/resource/document/fisheries-united-states-2016-report

  1. Fish and Shellfish Nutrient Composition.

https://www.seafoodhealthfacts.org/seafood-nutrition/healthcare-professionals/fish-and-shellfish-nutrient-composition

  1. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015-2020.

https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/appendix-3/

  1. Photo Credit: “Wet Fish” (https://www.flickr.com/photos/volvob12b/9397882277/sizes/s/) by Bernard Spragg.
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