List of Lean Fish


Add fish to your weekly menu plan to add variety, flavor and healthy nutrients. According to the USDA, including fish in your diet one to two times a week can increase your intake of healthy fats, like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The USDA recommends fatty fish such as salmon, trout and herring most often. Lean fish does not have as many healthy fats as fatty fish.

Pickerel and Pike

rizotto with a fried pike perch in sauce
Pike risotto (Image: Serhiy Zavalnyuk/Hemera/Getty Images)

Pickerel and pike are both freshwater fish. Pickerel is the smallest in the pike family, usually no more than 3 pounds. Pike are generally 10 pounds., but some can weigh as much as 30 to 60 pounds. Pike and pickerel are bony fish you can prepare with most cooking methods. The flesh tends to dry out easily, so it is best to use moist cooking methods, such as steaming. There is less than 1 gram of fat in a 4-ounce. serving. Pike has about one-third of the daily recommended amount of phosphorus. Phosphorus is important for metabolic functions in the body.

Orange Roughy

New Zealand
Map of New Zealand (Image: Marcio Silva/iStock/Getty Images)

Orange roughy is a saltwater fish from New Zealand. It is low in fat and has a mild taste and moist texture. Orange roughy has less than 1 gram of fat per 3-ounce. serving cooked. It has a neutral flavor and takes on flavor from many different dishes. This fish tastes best when steamed, baked, poached or fried. Remember, frying can add extra fat.


"Sea bream, mediterranean style."
Porgy (Image: eskymaks/iStock/Getty Images)

Porgy is a saltwater fish found all over the world. It has many bones throughout the flesh. Choose larger fish for a better meat-to-bone ratio. Porgy is also known as scup. It has 3 grams of fat per 3-ounce serving cooked. Porgy has about one-third the daily recommended amount of niacin. Niacin is important for energy and metabolism functions in the body.


Red fish (Image: Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Redfish is also known as red drum. It is a saltwater fish found near the United States and Mexico. It has a sweet mild flavor and is considered a lean fish. There are less than 5 grams of fat per 3-ounce serving.

Red Snapper

red snapper
Red snapper filets (Image: adlifemarketing/iStock/Getty Images)

Red snapper is a lean saltwater fish with less than 2 grams fat per 3-ounces. It has a sweet, mild flavor and a firm, moist texture. True red snapper has a bright red skin and white flesh. Because it is so popular, many other snappers are mislabeled as red snapper. Red snapper is a good source of selenium with more than 75 percent of the daily recommended amount. Selenium is a potent antioxidant.

Rock Cod

Large Predatory Fish Populations Decimated By Commercial Fishing
Rock cod fish on ice (Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Rock cod is a saltwater fish. Purchase frozen or fresh cod. It is a lean fish with less than 1 gram of fat per 3 ounces. Smaller fish are usually more tender than larger fish. Cod is a good source of selenium as it has over half the daily recommended intake. Selenium is an antioxidant with cancer fighting abilities.


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