venerdì 23 maggio 2008

Sensational Seafood

Fish and shellfish are a big part of the Mediterranean diet. Of course, Italy lies along the Mediterranean Sea, and the Mediterranean diet involves making use of the freshest ingredients available, so it only makes sense that seafood is a big component in fine Italian cooking. The versatility of seafood is incredible. There are an endless variety of delicious and healthy meals that can be created using many species of fish and shellfish.

Fish is very rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which help to lower bad cholesterol. It has also been shown that there is a link between eating fish at least twice weekly and a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or having a stroke. Seafood is rich in nutrients and low in saturated fats, and can also lower the risk for heart disease, one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Just think – eating something so fabulously delicious that it tastes like it must be sinful can actually lower your risk for three major health problems! I know, I know – it’s a major sacrifice! 

There has been some concern with levels of pollutants in waters that may contaminate fish. While it’s true that some fish can contain some contaminants, problems really can be avoided by obtaining your fish from a reliable source, cooking it appropriately, and really varying the types of fish that you eat. Avoid eating a lot of large predatory fish, such as shark, because these are the types of fish that have the highest levels of mercury. And of course, if you’re pregnant, the recommendation is to not exceed twelve ounces of fish per week, but eating fish during pregnancy has been shown to aid in healthy baby brain development, so try not to avoid it altogether, unless of course your doctor tells you to do so.

Look for a great collection of fish and shellfish recipes, coming soon in The Italian Kitchen!

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