Archive for the tag - fish

Is A Pescetarian Diet Healthy?

Hi Davey,

I am a 18 year old male and I’m being ridiculed by people for being a pescetarian. Everyone keeps telling me things like I’m not growing properly, you’re going to die sooner, you’re not getting enough protein, etc. Are any of those remarks true? Do you believe its healthy to be a pescetarian?

Love,
Lloyd

salmon-fillet-caloriesHey Lloyd,

Thanks for the email.

First things first, many of my readers are probably unfamiliar with the term pescetarian. It refers to a diet that includes seafood but not the flesh of other animals. It can include nuts, fruits, vegetables, grains beans and dairy. In fact, pescetarian is the correct characterization for individuals who identify as vegetarian – but who still eat fish.

There are a few things to keep in mind.

Vegetarian diets – even without the inclusion of fish – can be extremely healthy. In fact, most of us would be well served to eliminate much of the meat we consume. A recent study found that, over a six year period, vegetarians had a 12% lower risk of dying when compared to meat eaters. There have been numerous other studies linking vegetarianism to increased longevity.

In other words, when people tell you that you’ll die sooner for eliminating meat, they’re wrong; the science demonstrates otherwise.

It’s also entirely possible for vegetarians to get their required protein. Beans, for example, are a great protein source. If you add fish into the equation, getting enough protein becomes even easier. A fillet of salmon, for example, has a whopping 39 grams of protein. For most men, that’s nearly a full day’s worth. Keep in mind, protein requirements vary from individual to individual and are dependent on a number of factors. You can use this calculator to determine your daily protein requirement.

When we talk about fish consumption, mercury is always a concern. To minimize your risk, it’s possible to make fish selections that contain little to no mercury. These include salmon, oysters, herring, tilapia and others.

Of course, your pescetarian diet is only as healthy as you’ll make it to be. Eating ice cream and chocolate is technically pescetarian – but it will do nothing to help you achieve your health or fitness goals. Stick with plenty of vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fruits, berries and beans – and you’ll be great!

Love,
Davey

Is Sushi Healthy? 7 Tips for Upgrading Your Order.

No, eating sushi off a naked man won't make it any healthier.

At first glance, sushi seems like a healthy option for the discriminating dieter. It’s basically a bunch of protein-rich fish wrapped in vegetables and seaweed. What could possibly go wrong? Turns out, a lot.

Indeed, I love sushi. In Toronto, one of my favorite things to do is visit all-you-can-eat sushi bars. Two nights ago, my boyfriend and I did just that. And somewhere between the tempura and the volcano roll, I found myself wondering: Is sushi actually healthy? What could possibly be bad about it?

Enter: Mayonnaise, white rice, high-fat sauces, fried ingredients, overeating and tons and tons of sodium.

Here are 7 tips for eating healthier next time you go out for sushi:

  1. Fill up on sashimi. Sashimi is raw fish. There’s no rice, or anything else to get in the way. Raw fish is quite healthy, and packed with protein.
  2. Opt for brown rice. Many sushi restaurants offer rolls made with brown rice instead of white rice. While white rice is delicious, it is high in calories, carbs and low in nutritional value. Brown rice is still relatively high in calories and carbs, but it does offer increased nutrients – including 4x the fiber. Whenever possible, order brown rice with your rolls.
  3. Drink lots of water and green tea. Water will help curb your appetite and boost your metabolism. Green tea is a miracle drink that helps drop body fat.
  4. Minimize the creamy sauces. If it’s creamy, it’s probably made with mayonnaise. Mayonnaise-based sauces can turn an otherwise healthy roll into a calorie bomb of epic proportions. Similarly, rolls with cream cheese bring an unnecessary caloric burden.
  5. Avoid anything with the word tempura in it. If it says “tempura” then it means that the ingredient is deep-fried. Obviously, fried foods – which are high in dangerous saturated fats – are to be avoided. Instead, order rolls with fresh or steamed vegetables.
  6. Sprinkle reduced sodium soy sauce on your sushi or sashimi. When placing your order, ask the waiter or waitress for lower-sodium soy sauce. Almost every sushi restaurant will have some on-hand. Traditional soy sauce is basically liquid sodium, which is extremely harmful to your cardiovascular system and leads to higher blood pressure. Moreover, instead of dunking each piece of sushi into a plate of soy sauce, sprinkle a small amount on the top of the roll. It will give just enough flavor.
  7. Mind your portions. Since sushi usually comes in smaller servings, some of us (guilty as charged!) tend to eat way too much of it. Be mindful of the amount you eat, and include steamed vegetables or edamame with your order.

Are you a sushi fan? What tips do you have for healthier sushi consumption? Let us know in the comments below.

Fish that You’ll Want to Eat: Light and Flavorful Fish Tacos!

I’m excited to bring another post in a continuing series by my good friend and fellow Underwear Yogi, Nick Kindrick. It’s a recipe almost as delicious as he is. Enjoy!

You’re probably thinking… fish tacos, huh?

When many people here in the US think of tacos, they think of those hard corn shells, some ground beef, and some kind of seasoning packet comprised mostly of msg. Or even worse, they think of Taco Bell. The marketing gurus of the 70s did a great job of bringing “Mexican” food to the US, but it’s a far cry from the uber-fresh, light, colorful, healthy and delicious food that real Mexicans eat on a daily basis. This recipe is an adaptation of a dish that is ubiquitous along the Pacific coast of Mexico. Typically, the fish is fried, but baked fish is just as delicious. Hope you enjoy. “Buen provecho,” as the say south of the border.

Baked Fish Tacos with Mexican Coleslaw, Serves 2-3

  • 1 1/2 lb of white fish, such as cod, flounder, tilapia or catfish (make sure all bones are removed)
  • 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (found in the Mexican/Latin section of your supermarket)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 head of cabbage
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced paper thin
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced thinly (seeds and veins removed)
  • 1/2 c carrots, matchstick cut
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped finely (you may want to remove the thicker stems)
  • 1-2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 limes
  • avocado, sliced
  • flour tortillas
  • mayonnaise (optional)

Turn the oven on to 45o degrees. Remove the chipotles from the adobo sauce and reserve all but one for another use. These will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for a while (up to 2 weeks). Chop 1 chipotle finely. More if you like very spicy food. Add the chopped pepper to the adobo sauce (the liquid from the can) and pour over the fish. Make sure that the fish is completely covered with the pepper and the sauce. Chipotles are smoked jalapenos and are typically quite spicy. BE CERTAIN TO WASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY after touching the peppers if you are not wearing protective gloves. You can let the fish marinade up to an hour if you have the time, but this step is not necessary. Place the fish in an oven safe container, ideally on parchment paper (this will make for a simple clean up).

To prepare the slaw, slice the cabbage very thinly, as you will the onion. Remove the stem, seeds and the veins from the jalapeno and slice into a julienne (matchstick, like the carrots). Once again, BE CERTAIN TO WASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY after touching the pepper. Remove the cilantro leaves from the thicker stems and chop finely. Mix all ingredients of the slaw in a medium size bowl and add the carrots. Cut one of the limes in half and squeeze the juice of the entire lime over the slaw. Add the extra virgin olive oil. Add a hefty pinch of salt and mix thoroughly with your hands. The salt will break down the cabbage so it is essential to the salad.

Now bake the fish for approximately 8-10 minutes, per inch of thickness. If you’re using thin fish, this will not take long at all. Most importantly, just be sure that the fish is opaque. If it is not, it must cook more.

As the fish bakes, slice the avocado. Warm the tortillas on the stove or in the oven. This will not take long. Remove the fish from the oven. If you’re using mayonnaise, spread liberally onto the warm tortilla.  Spoon some of the fish on top and place some of the slaw on top of the fish. The sliced avocado goes on top. I usually eat 2 or 3 or 4 or 5… just kidding. Enjoy!