Super-healthy, diet-friendly seafood

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adults should eat eight ounces of seafood per week – about double what most get. Here are five delicious and super-healthy ways to add more seafood to your diet:

Oysters - Enjoy them raw or steamed, oysters are packed with vitamins and minerals and offer a nice protein boost; a 3-ounce portion (approximately 6 medium Pacific oysters) contains an impressive 8 grams of protein. On top of that you also get heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and a hefty dose of vitamin B 12, plus more than 15 percent of the daily-recommended intake of immunity-boosting vitamin C.

Sardines - Sardines are nutritional all-stars considering that a 3-ounce serving contains a whopping 2000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, 27 grams of protein, and more than 40 percent of the daily value of Vitamin D, which promotes calcium absorption for bone health and helps protect against various types of cancers.

Tanya’s tip: As small fish, sardines have relatively low levels of mercury. Canned sardines can be high in sodium though so if that’s a concern simply buy yours fresh.   

Scallops -These tender, meaty morsels are a delicious, nutritious, and easy to prepare alternative to fish. A 3-ounce portion of scallops provides minerals such as iodine important for healthy thyroid function, phosphorus which supports cell and tissue repair, plus heart-healthy nutrients including vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and potassium. Whichever you choose, larger Atlantic scallops or diminutive bay scallops, either is waist-friendly with only 95 calories per 3-ounce serving.

Shrimp - Shrimp are great for waist-watchers because they are low in fat and contain a mere 87 calories per 3-ounce serving. Shrimp are mostly protein, which makes them filling and good for muscle health, plus they provide all the essential amino acids the body needs. The omega-3 fats and omega-6 fats in shrimp benefit brain and immune system health, too.

Caviar - This fancy seafood is also a rich source of iron and protein! A 40 gram serving (about 1.5 ounces) is chockfull of minerals including magnesium, which promotes healthy blood flow and muscle contraction, as well as vitamin B12 which we need in higher amounts as we age. There’s even research suggesting that caviar’s high omega-3 levels may help relieve depression. When purchasing, look for caviar from sustainable farm-raised sturgeons.

For delicious high fiber meal plans, recipes and tips on healthy eating, drinking and losing weight, check out my latest book, The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber!

Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a registered dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books:  The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with fiber and The F-Factor Diet. Subscribe to Tanya’s free weekly newsletter and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest,and LinkedIn