TRYING TO EAT MORE FISH? 5 CANNED SEAFOOD OPTIONS THAT MAKE IT EASIER

Eating more seafood on a regular basis can be a lot easier than you think. Check out these 5 canned options to add to your meal rotation.


 BY: LEANNE RAY, MS, RDN

Have you been wanting to eat more fish, but find it difficult to cook or fit into your weekly meals?  By now, you’ve probably heard about the health benefits of regular fish consumption. It’s why the current recommendations for fish intake in adults are 2 to 3x per week, which is equivalent to about 8-12 oz. 

Seafood is known to provide a “total package” of nutrients, including EPA and DHA (anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids), protein, vitamin D and selenium. This confers powerful health benefits including reduced cardiac death, decreased blood pressure, and a potentially reduced risk for stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. 

However, the “2-3x per week” target continues to be a challenge for many households. Eating out and not cooking at home make it likely to skip out during mealtimes. Additionally, while many varieties of fish can be affordable, other types are more cost-prohibitive. And lastly, fish doesn’t keep for long after you buy it fresh from the grocery store counter; it’s typically recommended to prepare it within 1-2 days. 

If you’re looking for the most simple way to get around these barriers, one of your best options is to add canned fish into your rotation.

By adding canned fish as a pantry staple, you can easily supplement the ~1 weekly serving that you may not normally fit in without changing up your meal routines. In fact, it’s always available when you need it and is incredibly affordable (as low as $0.35/serving).

Here are 5 canned seafood choices to have stocked and ready for a quick-and-easy protein source.

1. Tuna

Beyond just sandwiches, you can easily incorporate canned tuna into your salads or as a snack with crackers.

2. Salmon

Similar to tuna, you can make a mixture with chopped vegetables, lemon, capers, herbs, and dressing to incorporate with your sandwiches, salads, or snack crackers.

3. Anchovies

Try having this with your pizza, or blend them into sauces for a salty umami flavor.

4. Sardines

These are typically packed in olive oil, and are best served on crackers “as is” because they tend to have a mushy texture.

5. Smoked oysters

While their taste may not be for everyone, it can be a great way to get in oysters without the expensive price tag of freshly shucked raw oysters. You can eat them straight out of the can or on crackers.

So how safe is it to regularly eat seafood?

While there’s always some confusion over whether it’s safe to consume fish because of contaminants like mercury and PCBs, the literature consistently shows that the benefits of eating sufficient amounts of fish far outweigh any potential risk

This is especially the case when you’re choosing a variety and eating it in reasonable amounts. In addition, the highest-mercury varieties, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish, are not typically readily available in grocery stores or restaurants. The lower mercury varieties, including shrimp, salmon, chunk light tuna, catfish, are typically the most readily available ones that you’ll find.

Whether it’s fresh from the sea or from the can, go ahead and enjoy your seafood.

Adapted from the original post.

Leanne Ray, MS, RDN is a Denver-based Registered Dietitian empowering women to sustain healthy lifestyles that are practical and realistic. By helping others find happiness and joy through delicious foods that don’t involve guilt or stress, she shares how healthy eating can involve satisfaction instead of boring, low-calorie diets. Visit her site to read more from Leanne.

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