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
1. Eat a variety of seafood - Include some that are higher in
omega-3s, such as salmon, trout, oysters, Atlantic and Pacific
mackerel, herring, and sardines.
2. Keep it lean and flavorful - Try grilling, broiling, roasting,
or baking. Minimize breading or frying seafood and creamy sauces,
which add calories and fat. Or, use smaller portion sizes. Adding
spices and herbs, such as dill, chili powder, paprika, or cumin,
and lemon or lime juice, can add flavor without adding too much
3. Shellfish counts too! - Oysters, mussels, clams, and calamari
(squid) all supply healthy omega-3s. Try mussels marinara, oyster
stew, steamed clams, or pasta with calamari.
4. Keep seafood on hand - Canned seafood, such as canned salmon,
tuna, or sardines, is quick and easy to use. Canned white tuna is
higher in omega-3s.
5. Cook it safely - Check oysters, mussels, and clams before
cooking. If shells don't clamp shut when you tap them, throw them
away. After cooking, also toss any that didn't open. This means
that they may not be safe to eat. Cook shrimp, lobster, and
scallops until they are opaque (milky white). Cook fish to 145
degrees, until it flakes with a fork.
6. Get creative with seafood - Think beyond the fish fillet. Try
salmon patties, a shrimp stir-fry, grilled fish tacos, or clams
with whole-wheat pasta. Add variety by trying a new fish such as
grilled Atlantic or Pacific mackerel, herring on a salad, or
7. Put it on a salad or in a sandwich - Top a salad with grilled
scallops, shrimp, or crab in place of steak or chicken. Use canned
tuna or salmon for sandwiches.
8. Shop smart - Eating more seafood does not have to be expensive.
Whiting, tilapia, sardines, canned tuna, and some frozen seafood
are usually lower cost options. Check for sales and specials to
help save money on seafood.
9. Grow up healthy with seafood - Omega-3 fats from seafood can
help improve nervous system development in infants and children.
Serve seafood to children twice a week in portions appropriate for
their age and appetite. A variety of seafood lower in mercury
should also be part of a healthy diet for women who are pregnant or
10. Know your seafood portions - To get 8 ounces of seafood a week,
use these measurements as guides: A drained can of tuna is about 3
to 4 ounces, a salmon steak ranges from 4 to 6 ounces, and 1 small
trout is about 3 ounces.
*This recommendation does not apply to vegetarians.