Insights & Actions for Healthy Living

Why should I eat fish twice a week?

That’s a great question many wonder about!

Few people actually eat much fish despite recommendations to eat fish twice a week (about 8 ounces of fish a week) because of its heart healthy benefits.

In addition to a variety of nutrients, fish contains omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) that have a protective effect on our hearts. Because our bodies don’t manufacture their own omega-3 fatty acids, it is important to eat fish to get this nutrient. Different kinds of seafood are healthy for us but fatty fish provides the most omega-3 fatty acids.

Fish provides a low fat, protein source and is high in nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.

Fish does contain some mercury, but the research shows that eaten twice a week, the benefits to our health outweigh the potential harm of mercury. King mackerel contains a high source of mercury and is not recommended to be eaten. Many fish are considered low contaminant and eco-friendly sources of nutrients.

 Fatty fish choices:

  • Wild Salmon
  • Canned tuna, albacore tuna
  • Trout
  • Canned mackerel
  • Sardines
  • Herring
  • Oysters
  • Halibut
  • Arctic char
  • Anchovies

It has been reported by researchers that eating fish can have many health benefits in addition to heart health. It has been stated that fish can help preserve brain function, reduce depression, and keep your skin and hair nourished so that is has a healthy shine. If you eat saltwater fish such as salmon, the extra Vitamin D can help strengthen your bones.

There are many ways to enjoy fish (not just fried) such as poached, grilled, baked, roasted, boiled and added to salads and casseroles. Many people think cooking fish will leave a fishy smell in the house, but many kinds of fish don’t smell fishy at all.

Suggestions for Serving Fish

  1. One of my favorite ways to make fish is a quick and easy dinner with lots of flavor and essential nutrients but minimal fat — poach fish in low sodium canned tomatoes. Heat a non-stick pan, add the fish fillet, pour on canned tomatoes and cover to let the tomatoes poach the fish. Add seasonings such as pepper, parsley or garlic as desired. It only takes a few minutes to poach the fish filet. Serve the tomato poached fish over rice with a side of steamed vegetables.
  2. There is always the standby fish sticks, fish filet sandwich, shrimp po’boy, and fish tacos which are all easy to create.
  3. Canned tuna works well in tuna noodle casserole, tuna sandwiches, and tuna melts.
  4. Mixed salad topped with tuna filet, seasoned shrimp or salmon can be modified to your preferences and make a great weekday dinner.
  5. Other seafood used in entrees such as scallops, lobster, crab, and mollusks served with pasta, boiled potatoes, quinoa or rice may take a bit more time to create but worth the extra effort. Don’t forget low country boils or crab cakes for a fun meal.
  6. Seafood used in soup such as clam chowder, lobster bisque, or she crab soup can really warm us up.



2 Responses to Why should I eat fish twice a week?

  1. I prefer going the tunafish and fish taco route. My wife and I love to create fish tacos, and usually save this as our “special” meal for the week.

    Would you suggest eating fish every day for either lunch or dinner? Or Would you stick to just twice a week?

    • Jordan, glad to hear you enjoy fish! Due to the mercury content of even those fish sources that are low, most experts do not recommend eating fish every day. Three times a week would be a good goal especially with tuna. Pregnant women are encouraged to avoid tuna altogether. Enjoy your fish tacos !!

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