Fish have a special place on the fasting table. We are especially happy to reach for them on Good Friday. What to pay attention to when shopping? Which fish are the healthiest? Our questions are answered by clinical nutritionist Katarzyna Biłous.
– The most beneficial for our health are fish with a high content of fats, and thus Omega-3 fatty acids. These acids have a beneficial effect on our immune and nervous systems, explains Katarzyna Bilous, clinical dietician in an interview with tvn24.pl. When asked to name five fish high in these beneficial fatty acids, she points to: salmon, halibut, sardine, sprat and mackerel.
Listing the best fish for health, Bilous also emphasizes the benefits of food sardines. “During many years of adhering to modern dietary trends, sardines have become a bit of a thing of the past, but it is really the only product that is able to provide us with the majority of our daily requirement for vitamin D in one serving,” he states, specifying that the high content of vitamin D in sardines results from the fact that we usually eat them whole, with the bones.
As a very healthy expert also pointed out trout, trout and tuna. These species contain from 2 to even 15 percent fat.
The healthiest fish
At the same time, Katarzyna Biłous pointed out that for some people the high content of fats in fish may be unhealthy. – We are talking about people who have problems with digestion, reflux or gall bladder stones. For such people, I suggest choosing fish that are leaner, like pike, perch or zander. Of course, they will contain less Omega-3 acids, but after their consumption, some part of these acids will still be delivered to the body – he points out.
The nutritionist adds that zander mentioned by her is also a “great choice” for people who do not like the classic taste of fish and want to increase their amount in their diet, because “it tastes similar to meat”. Referring to the recommendations of the National Institute of Public Health and the European Society of Cardiology, he emphasizes that optimally fish should land on our plates twice a week.
– Of course, this is not always possible. The problem arises when we have to heat up a fish dinner at work, which is rather impossible or doomed to dissatisfaction of colleagues – he jokingly notes. However, he emphasizes that even consuming one 150-gram serving of fish per week is beneficial for health.
Good fish – how to buy?
When asked where, in her opinion, it is best to go to buy good quality fish, the nutritionist draws attention to the problem with their availability. – There are less and less fish shops. The products that are most often available in discount stores are unfrozen, attractive-looking fish, which we usually consider a good choice. However, these are fish that were previously frozen, and then thawed, prepared for further processing and packed – explains expert Katarzyna Biłous.
– So if we face the choice of buying defrosted fish from a discount store or frozen fish, it is better to reach for frozen products. Although thawed fish available in stores is marked with an expiration date, the number of bacteria present on them increases every day. So there is a risk that after too long storage, especially at the wrong temperature or an additional, longer time in the home refrigerator, they can harm someone – explains the nutritionist.
And what to look for when buying frozen fish? – When choosing frozen fish, especially if it is sold by weight, you should look at how much glaze it has so as not to pay for frozen water – stresses Katarzyna Białous. – Of course, it would be best to find a shop that has a regular supply of fresh fish and stock up there. Such fish, however, are more expensive, so if we have to be guided by the price, it is better to choose fish that are frozen and do not have a thick layer of glaze on them – he adds.
The expert emphasizes that a good way to enrich your diet with fish is also to reach for canned products. – In particular, they work well for people who do not like to deal with fish processing due to the smell – says Białous. He adds that, as with other products, when choosing canned fish, you should carefully check all the information on the label, which allows you to assess its quality. Checking the origin of the fish is particularly important in the case of tuna, which “is quite controversial when it comes to the composition and content of mercury or other unfavorable substances.”
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