Seafood generally is a low-fat source of high-quality protein and is the best dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids. With a few exceptions for selected species, fish is usually low in saturated fats, carbohydrates, and cholesterol. Seafood contains healthful natural compounds known as “omega-3 fatty acids“. Both fish and shellfish, referred to as “seafood,” are nutrient-rich protein foods, and consumption has been associated with reduced heart disease risk. Eating two servings of seafood (about 8 ounces) weekly are recommended for heart healthy diet, by doing so you get at least 1,750 milligrams of two omega-3s known as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) . Fish consumption’s link to heart health is particularly linked to eating oily fish. EPA and DHA are abundant in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, anchovies, trout and tuna.
World apparent per capita fish consumption has been increasing steadily, from an average of 9.9 kg in the 1960s to 11.5 kg in the 1970s, 12.5 kg in the 1980s, 14.4 kg in the 1990s and reaching 16.4 kg in 2005. However, this increase has not been uniform across regions. A wide variety of fish and shellfish products are available in the marketplace. It has been estimated that between 300 and 500 different species of fish and shellfish are sold annually. However, ten different types of fish and shellfish products represent about 90% of the seafood consumed.
It’s always best to cook seafood thoroughly to minimize the risk of food borne illness. However, if you choose to eat raw fish anyway, one rule of thumb is to eat fish that has been previously frozen. Some species of fish can contain parasites, and freezing will kill parasites that may be present. However, be aware that freezing doesn’t kill all harmful microorganisms. That’s why the safest route is to cook your seafood.