Reel in the Heart-Healthy Benefits

By Liz Moore RD, LDN

If you desire a healthy meal that’s also big on taste, then look no further than fish. For starters, fish is a high-quality, low-fat protein. It’s also a good source of minerals, including iron, zinc, magnesium and potassium, and vitamins such as B2 and D.

But what makes fish a truly standout food is its high content of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Omega-3 fatty acids — which are not produced by our bodies — are especially beneficial for the heart. They help reduce inflammation throughout the body which, left unchecked, can damage blood vessels and potentially lead to heart attack or stroke. In addition, omega-3s decrease blood clotting, reduce irregular heartbeats and can help lower blood pressure.

So why not enjoy a delicious heart-healthy meal today? These three savory recipes incorporate tuna, salmon and mackerel — fatty fish that have the highest levels of EPA and DHA.


Tuna Tomato

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 can tuna fish (packed in water, no added salt, drained)
2 Tbsp olive oil*
1 Tbsp capers, drained
1/4 tsp dried oregano
Pepper to taste
4 whole tomatoes

Directions

Mix tuna fish with olive oil, capers, oregano and pepper. Set aside.

Cut top off of tomatoes and scoop out the inside to create a cup. Fill tomato with tuna fish mixture and serve.

* More olive oil can be added to the tuna fish if desired; note this will increase calories and total fat .

Nutrition Facts: Total calories per serving: 140; Total fat: 8g; Saturated fat: 1g; Total cholesterol: 10mg; Sodium: 130mg; Total carbohydrates: 6g; Total fiber: 2g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 13g


Honey Mustard Salmon

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
4 4-oz. fillets of salmon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450⁰F.

Whisk honey, mustard, lemon juice, oil and red pepper flakes together. Pour into a zip-top plastic bag. Place salmon into bag and seal; shake the bag to coat fish entirely.

Place salmon on baking sheet and bake for about 12 - 15 minutes, or until cooked through.

Nutrition Facts: Total calories per serving: 300; Total fat: 19g; Saturated fat: 3.5g; Total cholesterol: 60mg; Sodium: 160mg; Total carbohydrates: 9g; Total fiber: 0g; Sugar: 9g; Protein: 23g


Savory Mackerel

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 4-oz. fillets of mackerel
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp paprika
Pepper to taste

Directions

Place mackerel fillets on a baking sheet.

Whisk garlic, lemon and olive oil together; pour onto mackerel. Top mackerel with paprika and pepper.

Broil for about 7 - 10 minutes (depending on thickness), until cooked through.

Nutrition Facts: Total calories per serving: 290; Total fat: 23g; Saturated fat: 4g; Total cholesterol: 80mg; Sodium: 100mg; Total carbohydrates: 0g; Total fiber: 0g; Sugar: 0g; Protein: 21g


Elisabeth (Liz) Moore, RD, LDN, is our resident guru in heart-healthy nutrition . She is a registered dietitian for BIDMC's CardioVascular Institute (CVI) and sees patients in BIDMC's outpatient nutrition clinic and the CVI's Cardiovascular Health and Lipid Center. Moore received her BS degree in human nutrition from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Above content provided by the CardioVascular Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

October 2016