This September is heart awareness month, and we all know that eating more fish is one of the things we should be doing for a healthier heart. Watching the Food Channel makes this seem simple – walk down to the beach, choose a freshly caught fish from the fisherman’s boat, then grill to perfection on the braai with all sorts of lovely flavourings. If only that were the case! There are 3 things my clients always bring up as obstacles to eating more fish, but they can easily be overcome, giving you all the more reason to look after your heart…
They don’t know which ones are the “fatty fish” they should be avoiding
Fatty fish are actually the ones you should be eating, not avoiding! They contain the good fats: omega-3 fatty acids which do all sorts of wonderful things to help prevent heart disease. You’ll find them in fish such as salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, herring and trout.
They don’t know which ones are environmentally friendly choices
Salmon, sardines, tuna and trout are all on SASSI’s green list (sustainable choices from well-managed populations). There are some restrictions to the types or the ways they are caught, so when you’re at a restaurant, be sure to check with the waiter. Take a look at www.wwfsassi.co.za for more info.
They simply don’t know how to prepare fish at home
Reaching for the frozen fish in a shopping centre may not seem like a healthy choice, but choosing the non-crumbed options that don’t have too much sauce will ensure you are still getting all the goodness from your meal. Simply pop in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes. Also look for the heart mark on the packaging – an easy way to identify a product that’s good for your heart.
If you want to try a few new ideas, by fresh fish either from the counter in the shop or at the harbour. Ask to have it cleaned, then simply place it in tinfoil and add whatever you want…olives, tomato, lemon juice, lemongrass, basil, sage, feta, pesto etc. and then bake or grill in the oven. If you only have time for opening a tin, top a ciabatta with a mixture of tinned sardines, a handful of halved baby red and yellow tomatoes, loads of fresh basil and black pepper (leave the salad dressing). Or make a regular Greek salad and add drained, tinned tuna (the one in brine). The http://www.heartfoundation.co.za/ has some more heart-healthy recipes to look through.
Image sourced from pinterest