For several years now, seafood has become one of the most popular dishes for the heart healthy eater. It's high protein, low fat combination make it a choice meal, as does its high Omega-3 content. But, not all seafood is created equal, and I don't mean the difference between fish and fish sticks. Aside from the health benefits that should be factored in when choosing seafood, you should also consider the amount of mercury each kind contains.
Taking into account the good and the bad, I've created my All-Star roster for seafood:
#1) Salmon - Be sure to get wild salmon, as the farmed kind may contain chemicals from polluted water. This powerful fish contains three times the 250mg the recommended dose of Omega-3 (a whopping 1.6g), while its mercury content is kept to a minimum (0.01ppm).
#2) Rainbow Trout - Unlike salmon, you should opt for the farmed kind with this fish. Containing 1g of Omega-3, as well as a healthy dose Niacin - which is known to reduce bad cholesterol - and Vitamin B12. Mercury content is also rather low, typically in the 0.07 range.
#3) Oysters - Though they may not look very appetizing, the slippery creature that dwells inside the ugly shell is a pearl of health. With 1.2g of Omega-3, in addition to a high amount of zinc, oysters are a very healthy choice. Note: Oysters are very difficult to open, so you may want to leave the "shucking" to the pros and make them a dining-out-only treat.
#4) Pollock - Not the film director of the famed artist, but the fish that contains .5g of Omega-3 and only 0.04ppm of mercury. This fish is usually what you'll find in fish sticks and even the fillet-o-fish, but of course you would not want to consume it in this form. Here's a recipe for a much healthier way to serve up your pollock.
#5) Alaskan King Crab - Ever watch the show "The Deadliest Catch" on the Discovery Channel? Me, for one, I'm hooked -- no pun intended. It chronicles the day-to-day dangers faced by crab fisherman as they troll the frigid Alaskan waters. Quality programming. Quality food, too. Alaskan King Crab contains .4g of Omega-3 and a very low amount of mercury (0.06ppm). It also contains over 50 percent of your recommended daily amount of zinc and five times the recommended amount of Vitamin B12.
There are a whole bunch of other seafood that is worthy of All-Star recognition, but these five are, in my opinion, the best of the best. Flounder, perch, shrimp, lobster, cod, halibut, tuna, orange roughy, tilapia -- all are also good second-string options. But, these five seafoods listed above make up my starting line-up.