Health Benefits

• Seafood is naturally low in calories. Most species have less than 100 calories in a 3 ½ oz portion.

• Seafood is high in protein. A 3 ½ ounce portion of fish has very similar amounts of protein as poultry and red meat but with much less fat.

• Seafood is low in fat with the average fish having 1/3 the amount of fat as skinless chicken has. The oil in fish is rich in polyunsaturated fats and low in saturated fat.

• As a general rule, all fish and shellfish
are low in cholesterol. Only squid, shrimp,
abalone, octopus, razor clams, and fish
roe are fairly high in cholesterol. Since the
fat content is low, moderate amounts (4 oz)
of these are acceptable on a heart-healthy
eating plan.

• Seafood is a good source of vitamins and minerals such as the B vitamins and trace minerals such as iodine, zinc, selenium, and copper. Clams, oysters, and mussels are especially good sources of iron, while canned sardines have edible bones that are rich in calcium.

• Seafood is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids seem to be protective against heart disease and other health problems. Although most medical professionals advise against dietary supplements of fish oil except in certain cases, fish, especially fattier fish, is recommended to increase Omega-3 intake.

• Fresh unprocessed fish and shellfish are very low in sodium. Shellfish have somewhat more sodium than finfish but the difference is not significant to most people. Canned, smoked, or pickled seafood however is usually very high in sodium.