Substituing Meat with Fish For Nutrition and Budgets!
Eating healthy can start with baby steps. Several years ago I decided to replace several red meat meals a week with fish, but I wasn't sure which fish to start with. I knew the breaded and fried fish I'd been used to was not the best nutrition choice so I tried all kinds of fish and here are some suggestions based on nutrition, taste, price and availability.
Sardines. I used to eat these when I was a kid when I'd go ice fishing with my Dad, so decided to try them again. I prefer the tins with mustard, but you can also get them packed in oil or tomato/cajun sauce. Nutritionally they are excellent. The good: This food is a good source of Niacin, Calcium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Protein, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and Selenium. I love the way they taste, they are dense which gives a more satisfying feeling of eating something with substance. The price is between seventy and ninety cents a can, which considering the convenience, nutritional quality and availability gives them a number one place on my fish list, especially for easy-to-pack lunches. 52 Calories per ounce.
Orange Roughy is one of my favorites because it has a nice, almost sweet flavor. It doesn't taste fishy at all. Nutritionally it is excellent and very high in protein and selenium. It is rather expensive at $7-$9 a pound, but readily available frozen and is often on sale. Calories 29 per ounce.
Salmon - Wild caught salmon is excellent nutritionally and has a lovely, light flavor. It has a density that gives the same feeling as eating meat. Nutritionally it is low in sodium and a good source of protein, Niacin, Vitamin B6, B12 and Selenium. It usually costs between $5-$7 a pound. Calories 40 per ounce.
Grouper - When we're in Florida we eat a lot of Grouper because it is delicious and easy to come by. Nutritionally it
Low in sodium and saturated fat. It is a good source of protein, vitamin B6, phosphorus, potassium and selenium. It has a very mild flavor. We bought it in Michigan and I don't think it travels well as it had a lose texture and was tasteless. Calories: 33 per ounce
Tuna - Tuna is easy to find in any grocery store and relatively inexpensive. Nutritionally it This food is low in Saturated Fat. It is also a good source of Vitamin B6 and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Protein, Niacin, Vitamin B12 and Selenium. I prefer the white albacore because it has a more solid texture (some canned tuna is almost like a slurry of fish - ick). Calories: 32 per ounce.
Tilapia - This is a popular fish lately. I tried it and found it rather tasteless and boring, but nutritionally it is a good source of Phosphorus, Protein, Niacin, Vitamin B12 and Selenium. It costs about the same as Orange Roughy and you can buy it fresh in most major grocery chains or frozen fillets. Calories 26.9
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