Australians are increasingly conscious of the importance of sensible eating habits. A well-balanced, nutritious diet and regular exercise are vital factors in a healthy lifestyle. This month we asked Robert Gauta of Newcastle’s Commercial Fishermans Co-Operative about the health benefits of eating seafood and also managed to grab his favourite recipe.
Here’s what Robert says are the top 5 reasons to eat seafood (local seafood in fact!):
SEAFOOD IS LOW IN FAT - Seafood averages less than 2% fat. For slimmers, seafood is all good news. All seafood is low in kilojoules, with fewer kilojoules than even the leanest meat or chicken. And of course, with seafood, you don't need to trim any fat. Just grill, barbecue, bake, steam, poach or microwave seafood to keep a low kilojoule count.
FISH IS LOW IN CHOLESTEROL - Cholesterol is an essential part of all living animal tissue. But levels of cholesterol can be too high if we eat too much-saturated fat. Seafood has very little fat of any kind and what it does have is mostly unsaturated fat. Eating fish two or three times a week can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
SEAFOOD IS HIGH IN PROTEIN - Seafood is an excellent source of top quality protein and compares favourably with meat and chicken.
SEAFOOD IS HIGH IN VITAMINS & MINERALS - Seafood is an excellent source of many essential minerals, including iodine, zinc, potassium and phosphorus. It is also rich in many vitamins, especially the B group.
OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS - Omega-3s are a type of polyunsaturated fat and are essential nutrients that play many critical roles in our bodies. And, just like minerals and most vitamins, our body cannot make them.
Long-chain Omega-3s are found in oily fish, non-oily fish and shellfish, and to a lesser extent in meats and eggs. Long-chain Omega-3s are used efficiently in the body. DHA (a long-chain Omega-3 fatty acid) is a major building block of the brain, and the retina in the eye is very concentrated in DHA. Other vital organs, such as the heart, are rich in long chain Omega-3s.
Research has also shown that regular consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of developing Macular Disease (MD). The MD Foundation encourages people to eat fish regularly to ensure that their intake of Omega-3s is adequate.
For information on Macular Disease visit the Foundation's website at www.mdfoundation.com.au
For more detailed information on Omega-3s, visit the Omega-3 Centre's website at www.omega-3centre.com