Fish is low in saturated fat and supplies a good dose of certain nutrients, such as protein, according to the American Heart Association. Fresh fish is available at most supermarkets, but it can be expensive, and you won't always find the type you're looking for. Frozen fish is a good alternative. You're likely to find more variety, and it's often lower in price, too.
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Frozen Fish Basic Facts
Frozen fish is low in saturated fat and contains omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart problems, according to the American Heart Association. Fatty fish, such as trout, salmon and mackerel, are your best bet for increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Most fish, such as trout, cod, haddock and salmon, supply small amounts of iron and calcium as well.
Fresh vs. Frozen
Fish that you buy from your grocer's freezer is frozen as soon as it's caught. That means that you're getting all the nutrients you would if you ate that same piece of fish fresh from the water and perhaps even more. Opting for frozen fish also increases the varieties you have available, because you don't have to wait for your favorite kinds to be in season. Frozen fish is good for the environment, too, because it helps reduce waste and decreases the shipping resources necessary to get it from water to table as quickly as possible, according to "National Geographic."
Frozen Fish and Mercury Contamination
While the American Heart Association recommends that people eat fish on a regular basis, certain individuals should proceed with caution when it comes to some types of fish. Bigger fish, such as shark, king mackerel, swordfish and tilefish, can contain large amounts of mercury, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Pregnant women and children shouldn't eat these kinds of fish at all. Because mercury has a negative impact on brain and neurological development, these populations should opt for lower-mercury varieties such as salmon, tilapia, cod and freshwater trout. Ask your doctor about tuna, because the weekly and monthly limits vary by age and type. For example, most people shouldn't eat more than 6 ounces of albacore tuna per week, according to the American Heart Association.
Keeping Your Fish Healthy
The American Heart Association recommends that you eat at least two servings of fish each week, and frozen fish counts toward that goal. Choose frozen fish packages that aren't torn or opened, because open packages can be contaminated with bacteria that might make you sick. Look for packages of frozen fish in the middle or at the bottom of the freezer case as well, recommends the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Thaw frozen fish immersed in a bowl of cold water in the refrigerator or on the defrost setting on your microwave.Enjoy your fish baked, broiled or grilled, because these cooking methods don't add a lot of fat, as frying does.
- American Heart Association: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- American Heart Association: Frequently Asked Questions About Fish
- National Geographic: Frozen Seafood
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Mercury Levels in Commercial Fish and Shellfish
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Fresh and Frozen Seafood: Selecting and Serving it Safely
- Seafood Health Facts: Seafood and Nutrition