A white-fleshed native Australian fish with a firm texture and mild, buttery flavor, barramundi is also known as the giant perch or nairfish. It's a versatile, environmentally friendly and nutritious alternative to seafood that may be overfished or contaminated with pollutants like mercury.
Use it in any recipe for sea bass or red snapper that calls for grilling, roasting, broiling or sautéing. Just make sure you only choose barramundi farmed in the United States, because others are not as highly regulated, according to the Smart Seafood Buying Guide.
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Barramundi Nutrition Information
Per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) each 100 grams of a barramundi filet contains:
- 82 calories
- 1.18 grams of fat
- 0.05 grams of protein
- 0 grams of carbs
A 6-ounce fillet of fresh barramundi contains 140 calories, and 13 percent of this amount — approximately 18 calories, or 2 grams — comes from fat. For a person on a 2,000-calorie diet, a serving of barramundi would supply only 2 to 3.5 percent of their recommended daily limit of fat.
Barramundi contains no saturated fat, although it does have 70 milligrams of cholesterol, which is 23 percent of the total a healthy adult should have each day. But despite the cholesterol content, the health benefits of fish like barramundi still make it a good choice in a balanced diet.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the average adult needs between 46 and 56 grams of protein per day. Barramundi supplies 35 grams of protein in a 6-ounce fillet — that's between 62 and 76 percent of a person's daily protein requirement.
You may have a better chance of avoiding chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease if you get more of your protein from plant-based sources, poultry or seafood, rather than red or processed meats.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
A serving of some commercially farmed barramundi contains about 1 gram of omega-3 fatty acids, nearly as much as the 1.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids found in every serving of fatty fish like salmon, mackerel or herring.
There isn't a recommended daily allowance of omega-3 fatty acids, but eating two servings of fish such as barramundi per week will supply most adults with enough. A diet high in omega-3 fatty acids may help lower your cholesterol and decrease your risk of heart disease, cancer and neurological disorders.
Vitamins and Minerals
Like all fish, barramundi is a source of a number of essential vitamins and minerals that support your immune, cardiovascular and nervous systems, including selenium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin A and calcium.
Each 6-ounce fillet of barramundi contains 40 milligrams of calcium, or 4 percent of the 1,000-milligram daily recommended intake for adults. Barramundi also provides approximately 4 percent of an adult's required intake of vitamin A.
- The Atlantic: The Anti-Salmon - A Fish We Can Finally Farm Without Guilt
- The Better Fish: "Barramundi Fun Facts"
- American Heart Association: "The Skinny on Fats"
- USDA Nutrient Database: "Australis Barramundi"
- Natural Resources Defense Council: "The Smart Seafood Buying Guide"
- Harvard School of Public Health: "Protein"
- Agein: "The Anti-Aging Superfood That Fights Heart Disease"