You know you need to add more fish to your diet, but you may be wary about adding this healthy protein if you don't know how to prepare it. With its rich, moist flavor and tender flaky flesh, grilled sea bass is a lot easier than you may think.
Chilean Sea Bass Nutrition
Protein is an essential nutrient found in every cell, tissue and organ in your body. It's needed to build and repair your body, support immune health and assist your body in many essential processes. Although Americans certainly eat enough protein, most of it comes from chicken and beef, according to an August 2015 study published in the journal Nutrients.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that you eat a variety of protein foods, including 8 ounces of seafood a week, which includes grilled sea bass. According to nutrition information from the USDA, a 100-gram or 3 1/2-ounce serving of raw Chilean sea bass fillet has 200 calories, 15 grams of protein, 15 grams of total fat and less than 1 gram of carbohydrates. The fillet also contains 94 milligrams of sodium.
Chilean sea bass is also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, with 2.4 grams per 100-gram serving, according to an October 2014 article published in Lipids. These essential fats are important for brain health and may improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and improving blood vessel function, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Be Mindful of Mercury
Chilean sea bass is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, but it's also a source of mercury. This naturally occurring toxic metal can affect your nervous and digestive systems and damage your liver, kidneys and skin. Although mercury is found in the air and water, fish is the primary source of the toxic metal, reports the World Health Organization.
However, the amount of mercury in fish varies significantly. Fish that are low in mercury include flounder, tilapia and salmon. The Food and Drug Administration says you can eat two to three 4-ounce servings of low-mercury fish each week. Chilean sea bass, on the other hand, is considered a moderate source of mercury, so you should eat no more than one serving of this fatty fish each week.
If you're pregnant or nursing, you should only eat low-mercury fish, which means Chilean sea bass is off the menu. Mercury exposure can lead to permanent brain damage in a developing baby.
Read more: The 9 Safest Seafood Options
Preparing Grilled Sea Bass
Grilling is an easy way to prepare any fish, including Chilean sea bass. The Washington State Department of Health says the general rule of thumb for fish is 10 minutes of cooking time for every inch of thickness. For food safety, FoodSafety.gov recommends cooking your fish until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Before you prepare your grilled sea bass, heat your grill or grill pan to medium heat. Coat your Chilean sea bass with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. For a 1-inch-thick fillet of Chilean sea bass, grill for 10 minutes or until the fish has reached an internal temperature of 145 F. Be sure to turn your grilled sea bass halfway through the cooking time so it cooks evenly.
Serve your grilled sea bass with roasted corn or our Grilled Veggie Quinoa Salad, which supplies only 219 calories per 1-cup serving. For a more flavorful fish, consider adding other seasonings before you place the fish on the grill. For example, try using dill and lemon, paprika and garlic powder, or orange zest and thyme.
- Food and Drug Administration: "Protein"
- Nutrients: "Sources and Amounts of Animal, Dairy, and Plant Protein Intake of US Adults in 2007–2010"
- Health.gov: "Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015-2020: "Appendix 3. USDA Food Patterns: Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern"
- USDA FoodData Central: FoodData Central: "Chilean Seabass"
- Lipids: "Fatty Acid Profiles of Commercially Available Finfish Fillets in the United States"
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: "Fish: Friend or Foe?"
- World Health Organization: "Mercury and Health"
- Food and Drug Administration: "Advice About Eating Fish"
- Washington State Department of Health: "Healthy Fish Recipes"
- FoodSafety.gov: "Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures"