Fish is an important component of the famous Mediterranean diet. Health authorities in most countries have encouraged everyone to eat more seafood, especially fatty species like mackerel and salmon.
Fresh fish is not readily available locally and can be very expensive. Fresh fish is good, but requires careful preparation, peeling, bone removal, and a lot of effort to cook properly. Many so-called “fresh fish” may be of dubious origin, as well as thawed imported fish from countries that do not have strict antibiotic restrictions and may be tainted by local contamination.
Virtually all of the fresh fish you buy has been frozen and thawed, which means it is difficult to buy cheap and keep frozen for later use. Most health authorities recommend not freezing meat and fish that have been frozen and thawed. Canned seafood can be a good choice for price, reliable origin, convenience, and minimal preparation, especially if good local fresh seafood is not available or too expensive.
Tips for Choosing the Best Canned Fish and Seafood for Health5
There are many different types of packaging for canned seafood. Fish or seafood can be seasoned with water, oil, tomato sauce, or other added ingredients such as vegetables and tomatoes.
Read the label carefully to determine the country of origin and where the fish was preserved. It is very important where the fish were caught. Many countries have problems with pollution, widespread use of chemicals and antibiotics on seafood farms, and questionable handling procedures.
Only select products from reliable companies that have good quality control and healthy products. Large companies depend on maintaining their reputation and standards to maintain the value of their brands. Smaller and less well-known companies may not care about their reputation.
Be very careful with “home-brand” fish and seafood that may be of questionable origin and of questionable hygiene standards. There can be bad reasons why it's cheap.
Take a close look at how the fish is packed, especially the liquid in which it is preserved. Avoid seafood and fish products in oil. Seafood packaged in plain water is much healthier and won't be clogged with fat and oil.
Consider washing or rinsing the fish to remove the sauce or liquid in which fish or seafood is being preserved. This liquid can contain a huge amount of fat and salt in the package. Most fish are low to moderate in fat, and this type of fat is healthier than the oil added to the can.
Take a close look at the list of ingredients: salt, sugar, carbohydrates, flavorings, paint preservatives, and other ingredients that may bother you. Make sure it has what you need. Many crab dishes are actually fish-colored and crab-like aromas. Many of the so-called "crab sticks" that you buy from fish shops are actually from deep sea fish too ugly to sell whole.
Select the size of the cans that match the size of the food you are preparing. Larger cans may be cheaper, but fish and seafood are not preserved when open. It is better to buy several medium-sized cans and use 2 or 3 of them than to buy one huge can and only eat half of it. Canned fish after opening is poorly stored and quickly deteriorates
Seafood in tomato sauce and with various vegetables can only be used with the fish that is called, or with these products. It is better to buy simple fish and add spices, herbs and vegetables to your taste.
Why should you eat canned fish? When it comes to nutrition, health experts recommend eating two servings of fish each week, one of which should be oily, such as sardines, mackerel, herring, tuna, trout, or salmon. This delicious fish is a food source high in protein, omega-3 and vitamin D. The bones of canned salmon and sardines are soft, edible and contain pure calcium. There are also boneless (and skinless) options available that are recommended for newcomers to canned fish.
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