You have likely already seen an article or two highlighting the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans  which are updated every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to promote good health. Since these Guidelines can be overwhelming, I wanted to highlight a key takeaway that resonated with me.
Specifically, the Guidelines suggest making a shift towards eating seafood at least two times each week since nearly all Americans are eating far too little seafood. Sound familiar? Let’s start with “why” we should all eat more seafood…
First, seafood is rich in nutrients we don’t get enough of like omega-3 fatty acids (which help reduce the risk of heart disease among adults), vitamin B12, iron and vitamin D (which is vital for healthy bones and may help prevent some cancers and heart disease).
Talking about vitamin D, I recently had a physical and asked my doctor to test my vitamin D levels. My lab value came back at 23 ng/ml and the normal range is 30-100 ng/ml. We mostly get Vitamin D from the sun, but seafood is one of the few foods that naturally contain Vitamin D so I’m boosting my intake of seafood and also taking vitamin D supplements to help get my vitamin D levels to the healthy range.
Since the average American eats about half of the recommended amount of seafood, the message is clear that Americans need to make a shift towards fish. Here are my suggestions for three simple ways to make that shift at least two times per week.
- Eat a tuna patty instead of a beef burger: my tuna patty is super simple… only four ingredients, affordable and, oh, so delish! For Dijon tuna patties, mix 1 can tuna, 3 Tbsp breadcrumbs, 1 Tbsp lemon juice and 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard. Shape into one patty, and cook in a skillet over medium heat on each side until brown and heated through. You can serve on ½ of a whole wheat sandwich thin.
- Eat a salmon filet instead of a steak: personally, I always love to grill my salmon by putting a little smoked paprika on it but you can also easily bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes wrapped in foil. Try smoked paprika with a squeeze of a lemon or try your own favorite herbs and spices to boost the flavor to your liking.
- Eat tuna in your salad instead of grilled chicken: this is such a simple shift to boost your seafood intake. Just put a can of tuna on top of a bed of baby spinach, add some chopped tomatoes, a small handful of walnuts, ¼ of an avocado and top with balsamic vinegar.
Have questions? Make sure you join me for a Twitter Chat on Wednesday, February 3 at 3pm CT // 4pm ET // 1pm PTand follow @NutritionExpert @DishonFish and #ShiftToFish to join the fun!
Disclosure: I am working with the folks at National Fisheries Institute. Opinions are my own.