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Benefits of Eating Fish and Shellfish
Fish and shellfish have been on restaurant menus for years. Now consumers are including more seafood on their menus at home.
Including fish and shellfish as part of an overall balanced diet can provide many health benefits. Seafood is fairly inexpensive, quick and easy to prepare, and provides lots of nutrition. It is an excellent source of lean protein and is low in saturated fat. Also, seafood provides essential omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower rates of heart disease, reduce hypertension, relieve some arthritis symptoms and prevent cancer.
According to the American Heart Association, consumers should eat two servings of fish per week to prevent coronary heart disease. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that pregnant women or those who are breast feeding consume two to three servings per week. They also recommend that children eat one to two servings per week beginning at 2 years of age to promote development and growth.
Will the choice of seafood you eat make a difference? It’s difficult to say there is a “best” fish or shellfish. "Oily" fish, like salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and sardines are higher in omega-3 fatty acids. Fish and shellfish that are lower in fat, like cod and crab, are perfect alternatives for other protein foods that are higher in saturated fats, like red meat and pork. But all seafood –no matter your choice – will provide a diet with healthful benefits. The best advice is to include more fish and shellfish in the diet and not to worry about the type you may be eating.
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The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture