The latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage families to eat seafood at least twice weekly because of its heart and weight benefits. The Guidelines also underscore the importance for pregnant and breastfeeding women to eat more seafood to improve babies’ health.
Our partners at the National Fisheries Institute say that while most Americans eat an adequate amount of total protein foods, nearly all eat far too little seafood—the average American eats one serving of fish per week, while the average pregnant woman eats half a serving per week. To make the shift to eat more seafood and reap its health benefits, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest choosing fish in place of meat or poultry twice each week.
The Science on Heart Health & Seafood Is Clear
- “The American Heart Association recommends eating 2 servings of fish (particularly fatty fish) per week. A serving is 3.5 ounce cooked, or about ¾ cup of flaked fish. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids. ” – AHA
- “Twice a week, make seafood—fish and shellfish—the main protein food on your plate. Seafood contains a range of nutrients, including healthy omega-3 fats. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, eating about 8 ounces per week (less for young children) of a variety of seafood can help prevent heart disease.” – USDA ChooseMyPlate
Why Is Fish So Good for Heart Health?
Researchers believe the unique combination of healthy fats in seafood play a big role in its powerful protection of heart health, but that’s not all seafood has to offer. Fish, as a whole food, has a lot going on. Take a look here at all the nutrients in a single filet of salmon, for example:
- Vitamin D
- Omega-3 fatty acids
At a time when Americans are told to limit so many foods, seafood is among the handful of foods Americans are encouraged to eat more often. For the latest on seafood science and nutrition keep up with our registered dietitians, visit your local Hy-Vee or stay tuned to our Seafoodies blog.