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Fish and shellfish are some of the healthiest proteins and fats in our food supply and of course, protein and fat assists with weight loss and maintaining ideal blood sugar levels. You may be wondering if consuming seafood on a regular basis may be detrimental to your health with regard to potential environmental toxins such as mercury. And yes, while there are some fish to avoid, there are still plenty seafood options that have all of the beneficial macro-nutrients while remaining relatively low in toxins.
Larger and older fish tend to have higher mercury content as they have been around longer to accumulate toxins so fish such as Tilefish, Shark, Swordfish and Mackerel should be limited, but not to worry, “there are more fish in the sea!” Wild Salmon, for example is relatively low in mercury but high in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are the most advantageous polyunsaturated fats--most of which can only be found in very particular animal products. Omega-3 fatty acids will, not only, help to keep you fuller for longer which assists with avoiding food cravings, they are important for heart, brain, and eye health. For other options of low-mercury fish and shellfish, the Natural Resources Defense Council has listed the following sea foods as superior choices:
Anchovies, Butterfish, Catfish, Clam, Crab (Domestic) , Crawfish/Crayfish, Croaker (Atlantic), Flounder, Haddock (Atlantic) , Hake, Herring, Mullet, Oyster, Perch (Ocean), Plaice, Pollock, Salmon (Canned), Salmon (Fresh), Sardine, Scallop, Shad(American), Shrimp, Sole (Pacific), Squid (Calamari), Trout (Freshwater) and Whitefish.
Now you may be wondering about canned tuna since it can be a staple in the weight loss nutrition plan. Not all cans of tuna are created equally as chunk-light tuna is three times lower in mercury than solid white albacore so if you eat canned tuna on a regular basis, definitely opt for the chunk-light variety. For a tasty, healthy, and weight loss-friendly tuna salad, mix one can of tuna with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, teaspoon of mustard, and freshly squeezed lemon. Then combine with chopped celery, diced onion, and one diced hard-boiled egg--this salad is mayo-free and offers an abundance of protein and healthy fats.
Seafood is a staple of a healthy diet so it should be incorporated in your daily nutrition plan, if you enjoy it. Of course, like any other animal products, it is best to choose the highest quality selections in order to avoid byproducts that cause unfavorable health outcomes. Fortunately, some of the lowest-mercury seafood selections are ready available and affordable.