I went to a killer wine, cheese, and seafood tasting event at my local Whole Foods Market yesterday. It’s not often you get access to an intimate Q&A session with their top specialty pros.
Surprisingly, I am new to the world of seafood as I was clinging to my childhood repulsion of fish for a few too many years. Thankfully though, I have learned better and am paving the road to changing my ways. As a newbie, I feel a bit intimidated approaching the fish counter at any grocery store, especially higher end ones. But the fishmonger at the tasting debunked all of my worries as he walked our group through the best questions to ask.
Now, you can help them help you! Here are the top three questions to ask at the fish counter this summer.
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Recently I was lucky enough to spend 10 days in Japan. It was cherry blossom season—and a trip that’s been on my bucket list for a while. I only learned two new Japanese words—”konichiwa” is “hello” and “arigato” is “thank you”—but I figured out at least a few explanations for why Japan continues to rate high in rankings of the world’s healthiest countries. Here are a few tricks that are helping our neighbors to the west—who boast the greatest proportion of citizens over 100—live long and healthy lives:
Fish comes first: Eaten raw, cooked, or somewhere in between, not a day went by that I didn’t have fish during my trip. All of this seafood was good for my body and brain: the blend of lean protein and healthy fats makes fish a staple in many diet and healthy eating programs. I’ve always liked sushi, but this visit gave me a new appreciation for sashimi—basically raw fish any rice: You get all of the benefits of the fish without the calories or sugar of the rice!
By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Lead Nutritionist for TheBestLife.com
Nutritionists love seafood for good reason: Diets high in fish are linked to lower levels of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and depression. And for pregnant women, eating more fish can even make your baby more intelligent.
But what about mercury, a contaminant that can cause nerve damage and other problems? You’ll find the chemical in large fish like swordfish and tuna. These fish eat large quantities of small fish that are low in mercury, but over time, these small amounts concentrate in the big fish’s body.
Fortunately, there are plenty of low-mercury fish options at the seafood counter (see the list below).
* Note: Seafood with an asterisk (*) are rich in omega-3s, which help fight inflammation in the body and offer many health benefits, like a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer and possibly Alzheimer’s disease.
The Purest Picks
• Arctic char*
By Shae Blevins, contributor for DietsInReview.com
The diet and nutrition in The Pescetarian Plan is built on The Seven Pescetarian Principles the author, Janis Jibrin, RD, created.
Principle #1: Do not eat meat and poultry; eat recommended amounts of protein.
Proteins allowed with The Pescetarian Plan include fish and seafood, of course, as well as cheese, eggs, edamame and tofu, among other plant-based proteins found in grains, legumes and nuts.
Principle #2: Eat fruits and vegetables!
Fruits and vegetables of the traditional American diet might be apples and potatoes, but The Pescetarian Plan encourages you to explore the produce section at your local grocer to find kiwi, mangoes and figs. The fruits and vegetables allowed in The Pescetarian Plan are not always Mediterranean-based, such as sweet potatoes, but always provide the nutrition the author promised.
Principle #3: Keep treats and alcohol at a minimum.
The Pescetarian Plan allows for you to indulge in your favorite treats, such as salty chips and sweet cookies, but it recommends eating those treats in moderation. The same goes for consuming alcohol – and it should be wine.
Principle #4: Get a handle on starches.
The Pescetarian Plan recommends that half your grain servings should be whole grains, since people who eat whole grains tend to be at a healthier weight. Other starches, such as legumes, should be eaten at least four times a week.
Principles #5: Switch to low-fat or non-fat dairy.
Switching from whole fat milk to low-fat milk will save calories and saturated fat allowances in The Pescetarian Plan. Dairy is also one of the food groups you are allowed to cut completely if you have allergies or don’t like it.
Principle #6: Enjoy healthy fats!
The Pescetarian Plan is not a low-fat diet. Approximately 35 percent of the calories in this plan come from fat – the healthy fats founds in nuts, seeds, olive oil and avocados.
Principle #7: Drink more water!
Water is the beverage of choice for The Pescetarian Plan, and Jibrin recommends drinking six cups of water a day or enough so that your urine looks like lemonade. Fruit juices, sodas and sweet teas are, in Jibrin’s opinion, a waste of calories.
The Pescetarian Plan provides calories plans instead of meal plans, which allow you to be more creative with what you eat when but do not give you strict guidelines on what you should eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The calories plans outline how many servings of each pescetarian food group you should eat at different calories levels, such as 1,500 calories a day or 2,500 calories a day. However, the diet does show you how to plan your own meals through templates.