Eat Some Seafood
Seafood includes fish (such as salmon, tuna, and trout) and shellfish (such as crab, mussels, and oysters). Seafood has protein, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids (heart healthy fat).
Adults should try to eat at least 8 ounces per week of a variety of seafood. Children can eat smaller amounts of seafood, too. Most types of seafood are low in mercury and are safe for children and adults to eat.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding can eat most types of seafood, including chunk light tuna. At least 8, and up to 12, ounces per week of cooked seafood is fine for women to eat. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not eat tilefish, shark, swordfish, and king mackerel because they are high in methyl mercury. Also, limit the amount of white tuna (labeled as “albacore”) to no more than 6 ounces per week.
Here are some tips for adding seafood to your diet:
- Try choosing seafood in place of some meat and poultry twice a week.
- Cook your seafood by broiling, poaching, or baking it—all of which are healthier than frying.
- Serve seafood with lemon or salsa instead of butter and other sauces high in fat.
- Frozen seafood and canned seafood are often less expensive than the fresh forms.
- Remember to check the Nutrition Facts label of canned, frozen, and prepared seafood for the sodium content.
When buying, storing, and preparing seafood, follow these food safety suggestions:
- Seafood should smell fresh and mild—not fishy or sour.
- Don’t buy frozen seafood if the package is open, torn, or crushed on the edges.
- Avoid any frozen package that has signs of frost or ice crystals. It may have been stored a long time or thawed and refrozen.
- Before cooking, throw away clams, oysters, and mussels if their shells are cracked or broken.
- Live clams, oysters, and mussels will close up when the shell is tapped. If they do not close when tapped, do not cook and eat them.
- Cook seafood to a safe internal temperature of 145°F, or until the fish flakes with a fork.
- If seafood will be used within two days after purchase, store it in the refrigerator.
- If seafood won’t be used within two days after purchase, wrap it tightly and store it in the freezer.