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Like a fish takes to water, I’m taking to fish for breakfast. Yes, I said fish. I like that it’s not sweet, the protein is lean, the fats are healthy, and there’s deliciousness in every bite.

I’m not the only fish aficionado. Because of their healthier fats, 8 to 12 ounces of fish a week are recommended for adults, including those who are pregnant and breastfeeding (1 to 2 servings of fish a week for children, starting at age 2).

That amount of fish provides an average 250 to 500 milligrams of omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoci acid (DHA) fatty acids per day. These fats are associated with improving heart and brain health. Seriously. Eating seafood twice a week reduces the risk of dying from heart disease by 36 percent. To be clear, I’m talking about eating. Much of the research on the positive health impact of fatty acids is based on eating fish, not taking supplements and pills. Plant sources of omega 3’s, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) include walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, canola oil and soybean oil. Though the type of omega 3’s in plants is not as active as that found in fish so much of the oil’s benefits are lost in conversion.

The Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency advise pregnant and breast feeding woman avoid four types of fish that tend to have higher levels of mercury: tilefish, shark, swordfish, orange roughy and king mackerel.

From high to low, this chart from breaks down the amount of fats various fish supply. As you see, there are lots of fish in the sea. Smaller fish are good sources of omega 3s plus they reproduce faster so are more sustainable. Baked, grilled, steamed, poached, just about anything but fried, please.

These provide 1000 milligrams of omega-3 EPA+DHA per 4 ounce serving.

  • Anchovies
  • Herring
  • Mackerel (Atlantic & Pacific)
  • Oysters (Pacific)
  • Sablefish (Black Cod)
  • Salmon (Atlantic, Chinook, Coho)
  • Sardines (Atlantic & Pacific)
  • Swordfish
  • Trout
  • These provide between 500 to 1,000 milligrams of omega-3 EPA+DHA per 4 ounce serving.
  • Alaskan Pollock
  • Barramundi
  • Crab
  • Mussels
  • Salmon (Chum, Pink & Sockeye)
  • Sea Bass
  • Squid
  • Tilefish
  • Tuna (Albacore/ White)
  • Walleye
  • These provide 250 to 500 milligrams of omega-3 EPA+DHA per 4 ounce serving.
  • Catfish
  • Clams
  • Flounder/Sole Grouper
  • Halibut Mackerel (King)
  • Perch
  • Rockfish Snapper
  • Tuna (Skipjack)
  • These provide less than 250 milligrams of omega-3 EPA+DHA per 4 ounce serving.
  • Cod
  • Crayfish
  • Haddock
  • Lobsters
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Shrimp
  • Scallops
  • Tilapia
  • Tuna (Yellowfin)
  • No matter which fish you choose, you’re brain and heart will be happy.
  • This recipe is one of my favorite breakfasts. It’s easy to make and because an ounce of fish is 6 to 7 grams of protein, it helps me feel full longer. No need to limit it to mornings, Tuna Picatta is good for lunch and dinner, too.

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Judy Barbe is a registered dietitian, speaker and author of “Your 6-Week Guide to LiveBest: Simple Solutions for Fresh Food & Well-Being.” Visit her website for every day food solutions.


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