Haddock is a mild-tasting fish that is lean, white and flaky when cooked. It makes an excellent choice for those who want to start eating fish but are not accustomed to a strong fish flavor. Haddock delivers more than great taste. According to nutrition data from the USDA National Nutrient Database, haddock offers several health benefits based on its nutritional profile.
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Haddock is an excellent source of protein. A 3-ounce serving of cooked haddock contains 20.6 grams of protein, which is roughly 40 percent of the recommended daily intake. The Harvard School of Public Health reports that protein is necessary for the prevention of several chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis and diabetes. Low-fat, low-calorie sources of protein, such as haddock, offer benefits to your diet. Protein delays stomach emptying, which makes you feel fuller for a longer period; it does not cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels; and it takes more calories to metabolize protein than carbs.
Haddock is packed full of essential vitamins -- primarily those in the B vitamin family. A 3-ounce portion contains 3.9 milligrams of niacin and 1.2 micrograms of vitamin B-12. Both of these amounts are 20 percent of the recommended daily intake for these vitamins. Other B vitamins include B-6, thiamin, riboflavin, folate and pantothenic acid. The B vitamins are essential for food metabolism and the formation of red blood cells. The only other vitamin in haddock, according to nutrition information from the USDA, is vitamin A in a trace amount.
Minerals are as vital to the health of your body as vitamins. Minerals play a role in everything from building strong bones to regulating your heartbeat. Haddock contains several minerals, including phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, sodium, zinc, copper and manganese. The most abundant mineral in haddock is selenium, with a 3-ounce portion of cooked haddock containing 34.4 micrograms or almost 50 percent of the recommended dietary intake. Selenium is reported to help prevent cancer, heart disease and diabetes, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. A lack of selenium has also been tied to a weakened immune system.
Although haddock is a seafood product, it is low in fat and safe for any diet. A 3-ounce portion also has no carbohydrates and only 95 calories. The key to keeping haddock's calorie and fat content low is in its preparation. Frying haddock will increase its fat content, and breading haddock will add carbs. Haddock cooks well when grilled, baked or broiled with just a splash of lemon and spices of your choice.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Keyword: Haddock
- MedlinePlus; B Vitamins; April 2011
- MedlinePlus; Minerals; April 2011
- Linus Pauling Institute; Selenium; Victoria J. Drake; November 2007
- NOAA: National Marine Fisheries Service: Fish Watch: Haddock
- Institute of Medicine: DRIs: Recommended Dietary Allowances and Adequate Intakes, Vitamins