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Healthy Seafood Buyer’s Guide

Tips for choosing popular fish and seafood at the supermarket.

Do your body good—eat fish! Fish (and all seafood) is an excellent source of lean protein and is healthy for your heart because it contains so little saturated fat—the type of fat associated with heart disease. In addition, some types of fish, particularly cold-water species like salmon, tuna, sardines and trout, are rich in omega-3 fats docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Studies show that these omega-3 fats may reduce the risk of heart disease and may also provide other health benefits, such as helping to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and boost your mood.

 

Salmon

A fatty fish, salmon is high in both EPA and DHA, two omega-3 fatty acids that help heart health by slowing growth of arterial plaque, lowering triglyceride levels and reducing the risk of irregular heartbeat.

Shopping Tip:
Salmon steaks and fillets are most commonly found at the seafood counter. Canned salmon is a convenient choice for making salmon salad and salmon cakes.

Best Choices for Your Health & the Environment:
Buy wild-caught salmon from the Pacific (Alaska and Washington) when you can—they are more sustainably fished and have a larger, more stable population. The increase in salmon farms has led to high concentrations of fish waste in the ocean surrounding them, which threatens wild salmon populations. The price of wild salmon is lowest when it’s in season—mid-May through mid-September.

Prep Tips:
To skin a salmon fillet, place it on a clean cutting board, skin side down. Starting at the tail end, slip the blade of a long, sharp knife between the flesh and the skin, holding the skin down firmly with your other hand. Gently push the blade along at a 30° angle, separating the fillet from the skin without cutting through either.

If you’re grilling salmon, keep the skin on. Doing so helps hold the fish together and protects the delicate flesh from the searing heat. Once cooked, the skin slips off easily.

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