3 Interesting Fish Facts for National Seafood Month

Alyssa Bosee - Kroger RD

by | Updated: March 28th, 2019 | Read time: 2 minutes

Seafood can be highly controversial. Many people shy away from it simply because of its off-putting aroma, while others are either highly allergic or simply don’t like the taste of fish. If you haven’t quite decided whether fish is a favorite or not, these seafood facts may offer some interesting insight.

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Fish fact #1: Seafood is full of good fats

Omega-3 essential fatty acids are an essential part of the human diet. The most widely researched omega-3s are DHA and EPA, which prove to be beneficial in supporting heart health, brain function as well as normal growth and development (especially during the prenatal phase). Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are so important to heart health that the American Heart Association recommends two servings of fish each week. One serving is about the size of a deck of cards.

Fish fact #2: Fish requires special storing for safe eating

Fresh fish should be consumed within two days of purchase or wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in the freezer. When cooking, fish should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Try coating the fish in a marinade with dried herbs and baking for a moist and flaky texture. For a smoky flavor, throw your fillet on the grill. No meat thermometer? A general rule of thumb is to watch the flesh turn opaque.

Also, keep your nose up for an important warning sign. If you smell an ammonia-like odor, this indicates spoilage and the fish should not be eaten. Always be careful with raw seafood, such as sushi rolls, especially if you are pregnant or at higher risk for foodborne illnesses. If you decide to eat your seafood raw, check to see if it was previously frozen, as this will kill some of the harmful parasites.  

Fish fact #3: Farm-raised and wild-caught have similar nutritional qualities

Farm-raised fish is a newer concept that has many wondering if it’s a better alternative to the traditional method of catching fish from the sea. Ninety percent of fish in the U.S. are imported, half of which are farm-raised. All imported food is highly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure safety for consumers; that includes both wild and farm-raised fish.

The nutritional quality of the fish will be very similar since their high concentration of omega-3s comes from eating other fish and algae, both of which are found in the ocean or added to the farm fish’s diet. No matter which way you decide to enjoy seafood, research has shown the health benefits are far too important to overlook!