Fish — particularly oily fish — contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for the heart both in healthy people and in those who have cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association.
The association encourages eating fish for these nutrients. Although halibut is not one of the oiliest fish, it is still a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and a healthy addition to the diet.
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Oily fish are high in eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA. These omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of irregular heartbeat, reduce triglyceride levels and slow the growth of plaque in the arteries, reports the heart association. Fish is also a good source of protein and is not high in saturated fat.
A six ounce filet of halibut provides 36 percent of the recommended dietary allowance for phosphorus, 37 percent for vitamin B6, 40 percent for magnesium, 71 percent for niacin, 91 percent for vitamin B12 and 135 percent for selenium, according to registered dietitian and author Leslie Beck.
It also provides vitamin A, additional B vitamins, calcium, iron and zinc. Halibut is a lean fish with about 188 calories, 2.74 grams of fat and a whopping 38 grams of protein per six ounce serving.
The American Heart Association recommends that people without heart disease eat at least two servings of fish, especially fatty fish, every week. Each serving is 3.5 ounces, or about a three-quarter cup of flaked fish. Those with heart problems benefit from consuming about one gram of EPA and DHA per day.
Halibut does not have the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the seafood world, but it is still a good choice, containing 0.9 grams per 100 grams of fresh fish. This compares with fresh salmon at 1.4 grams per 100 grams of fish; lake trout, with 1.6 grams; sardines, with 1.7 grams; herring, with 1.7 grams; and mackerel, with 2.2 grams, according to weight-loss adviser Anne Collins.
Add Halibut to Your Diet
For best diet results, enjoy halibut baked or grilled and not fried. Choose low-salt, low-fat seasonings such as lemon, spices and herbs. Beck calls halibut a "great culinary canvas," saying that it takes well to flavorings from various cultures, including sesame oil, ginger, white wine, herbs, tomatoes and peppers.