Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

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The Approved Fish and Seafood List for Pregnant Women

There seem to be so many rules when it comes to diet during pregnancy. There are are many “don’ts” as well as “you musts” when it comes to foods that promote the baby’s and mother’s health. One of the trickiest areas for pregnant moms is the issue of fish consumption. On one hand, moms are told to get a healthy dose of fish for the omega-3s and other nutrients. Yet, on the other hand, moms are told to watch out for too much fish as the mercury levels could be dangerous to the baby. So, what’s a mom to do? Thankfully, there are some answers.

According to the Mayo Clinic, fish and seafood are touted as a great source of protein, iron, and omega-3s. All of these nutrients are important in development of the baby, specifically brain development. However, regular consumption of fish high in mercury can lead to a build up in the bloodstream which can eventually damage a growing baby’s brain and nervous system.

To handle this conundrum the FDA released guidelines for pregnant mothers regarding the mercury levels in fish. The guidelines state that no more than 12 oz. of low mercury fish should be consumed on a weekly basis. Fish in the “highest” mercury level category should be avoided completely and those that fall in the “high” category should be kept to three 6-oz servings per month.
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Your Red Snapper May Actually be a Mercury-Filled Tilefish

The nonprofit ocean protection group called Oceana has been performing a study, the results of which were released last week. The question – whether or not we’re being sold, and therefore eating, the fish we think we are.

Oceana took a sum of around 1,215 fish from 12 different parts of the country and examined them to see if they matched their labels or not. Listed below are the study’s findings.

  • About one-third of the 1,215 fish samples bought from 2010-2012 were mislabeled.
  • In a collection of 120 samples that were marked as red snapper fish, 28 different species of fish were discovered. Of those, 17 were not even within the snapper fish family.
  • Southern California was the region most likely to be misinformed with 52 percent of the samples bought there actually being something different.
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Fast Food Industry Fails to Serve Healthy Fish Sandwiches – 8 of the Best and Worst

In case you were wondering why the ads for fast-food fish increase this time of year – here’s your answer. Catholics started Lent on Wednesday, a 40-day observance wherein an individual fasts or abstains from something worldly, including abstinence from meat on Fridays. Catholics are permitted fish, and the restaurant industry takes full advantage. While grabbing a fish sandwich from a drive-thru seems innocent enough considering how healthful fish can be, those combos are often no better than the cheeseburgers.

Once you batter, fry, slather with mayo, and stuff fish inside a big white, starchy bun, you’re left with alarmingly high sodium and diet-crushing calorie counts.

We scanned restaurant menus to organize a list of the healthiest fish sandwiches, but our direction had to change when we couldn’t find any. That’s right – the fast food industry fails when it comes to serving a sandwich that meets our nutritional criteria, which is 500 calories and 500 milligrams of sodium or less for a meal. A couple come close with modifications, but they often don’t leave room for any sides.

McDonald’s Filet O’Fish Sandwich “wins” for the “healthier” fast food fish sandwich, as long as you ditch the cheese and maybe even the tartar sauce. The Long John Silver’s grilled salmon option is the best meal we found, and you even get to order corn with it! And for cold sandwiches, Panera barely wins with its tuna sandwich (barely because the sodium is still too high).

Take a look at the break down of eight of the most popular fast food restaurants and why you should avoid their fish menu. If you’ve got to go meatless on Friday, consider their vegetarian options – or just pack a lunch!
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McDonald’s Commits to Serving Certified Sustainable Seafood at All Locations

McDonald’s isn’t usually one to make headlines for positive news, but that’s just what they’ve done this week. The company announced yesterday that it will commit to serving only certified-sustainable seafood at all of its locations, making it the first U.S. national restaurant chain to do so.

This, of course, is big news for sustainability advocates as McDonald’s is the one of the largest single buyers of fish in the U.S.

Consumers will notice the change not only in the company’s packaging, which will now include a blue ecolabel of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). But also in a marketing effort which will roll out as soon as the changes are official in early February. In addition to their famous Filet-O-Fish sandwich, McDonald’s will also launch a new product called Fish McBites, which will be made with MSC-certified, wild-caught Alaska pollock.

As reported by the Huffington Post, the MSC is an independent non-profit organization that sets standards for sustainable fishing based on the impacts a fishery has on its ecosystem, its fish stock health, and its fishery management system.
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7 Meatless Meals for 7 Fridays in Lent

With everyone recovering from their Mardi Gras hangovers (both food and alcohol induced), we hope no one is giving up water and Advil for Lent. The 40 days (and nights) leading up to Easter is known as Lent and is observed by Catholics as a way to fast and abstain from the vices and worldly enjoyments that may take them from their faith or even concentration on living a pure life. Catholics are expected to “give up something” during Lent; it could be any number of things like diet soda, television, sex, smoking, alcohol, or social media.

One thing all Catholics must give up is meat on Fridays, considered a day of abstinence. Fish and vegetarian dishes become go-to meals during Lent. Fried fish sandwiches and cheese pizza seem to be standards of the Catholic diet during this time because they’re easy and accessible, especially if you’re used to a drive-thru menu.

Whether Meatless Monday or Meatless Friday, we say embrace it and use this as an opportunity to overhaul your dietary habits. Only good things can come of it, right?

We’re making the next seven Fridays a snap and planning the meals for you. These are seven of our most popular meatless and fish recipes for dinner.
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