Cart Smarts: Go fish if you want to 'Go Red'

I attended the American Heart Association's annual Go Red for Women luncheon last week. As always, I walked away inspired to raise awareness, focus on prevention and fund research for heart disease. I was especially honored to participate in the panel of experts, fielding questions on a heart-healthy diet.

The moderator started by mentioning our conversation at this event last year, which focused on seafood.

The American Heart Association recommends eating a variety of fish at least twice a week, especially fish containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, trout and herring. Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, reduce triglyceride levels and slow the growth rate of artery-clogging plaque.

Unfortunately, a recent study found that about 80 to 90 percent of Americans did not meet their seafood recommendations, so it was certainly worth highlighting the recommendation again this year. Sadly, that means most Americans are missing out on the valuable health benefits of omega-3 fats.

So, where's the disconnect? I have heard all the reasons why — fear of mercury, hesitation over price, confusion surrounding sustainability practices, lack of confidence with cooking techniques and a dislike for the flavor.


Worried about mercury? Choose seafood lower in mercury, like salmon, shrimp, canned light tuna, tilapia and trout.

Hesitant about the price? Watch for sales in the seafood case or stick to canned and frozen options.

Confused about sustainability? Look for the Responsible Choice logo in the store.

Not confident about cooking fish? Start with baking it — it's the easiest way to prepare fish. You won't even have to flip it halfway through. Plus, did you know that fish is one of the fastest cooking proteins? Saves you time and improves your health!

Don't like the fishy taste? Choose a white fish like cod or tilapia for more mild flavor and use lemon pepper or another seafood seasoning blend to make it more exciting.

Lent started this week, so I imagine many of you will begin incorporating more seafood in your diet, which is a good thing. Friday's fish will provide one of those servings, which means you'll be halfway there. I suggest reaching your second serving with something as simple as tuna salad.

What To Read Next
Get Local