You may be a good fan of seafood, but you do not know how actually they can be of help, especially if you have been having a tough time checking your diet with diabetes. The good news is that, that very fish you take for granted can actually help you. Seafood has been proposed to help fight type 2 diabetes, and it truly stands to its name.
Diabetes experts recommend eating fish for cardiovascular health, but if your only experience with fish has been the fried variety or fish sticks, you might be wondering how and why to include fish in your strategy for eating well with diabetes. “It’s a great protein choice, a source of healthy fat, and it contains important vitamins and minerals,” says Cassandra Rico, MPH, RD, associate director of nutrition and medical affairs for the American Diabetes Association.
And the best part of all is that “you don’t have to do a whole lot to seafood to make it taste good,” she says. “You can add just a few herbs and bake it in the oven. It’s a lot easier to prepare than I think people perceive.” So get to know your local seafood purveyor and make seafood part of your type 2 diabetes diet.
If you are not so good in eating fish, then you have no reason to cringe yet. There are many options you can go with, to get a good serving of the fish you need without having to close your eyes to get it down your throat. How about trying some of these tricks?
You can make a seafood salad with just about any fish, but tuna is particularly popular. Mix some light canned tuna with a bit of canola mayonnaise, lemon juice, freshly ground pepper, and diced celery. Serve your tuna salad on whole wheat crackers or as a sandwich on whole wheat bread. Add some mustard, sliced tomato, and crunchy lettuce for extra flavor and texture. Have it for lunch with an apple and some carrot sticks with hummus.
Get Creative with Seafood with Pasta
It’s easy to make pasta primavera and simply add some shellfish to give your dish some protein. Cook up some whole wheat pasta and also cook your shellfish of choice. (This could be shrimp, mussels, clams or even scallops). Meanwhile, roast some yellow squash, zucchini, onions, garlic, and mushrooms. When you’ve cooked and drained the pasta, toss the fish and veggies with the pasta along with some no-salt added canned Italian-style diced tomatoes. Finish pasta with some parmesan cheese.
An Entree Salad with Seafood
Make salad your main course by adding some hearty grilled salmon to it. Include lots of leafy greens (choose from spinach, arugula, romaine, or mixed spring greens). Then add tomatoes, yellow bell pepper, cucumber, and diced red onion. Top your salad with grilled salmon and some fat-free honey mustard dressing. Have a glass of skim milk and a side of whole wheat garlic bread with it!
Seafood does not come without its disadvantages. The fish family, especially the ones far below in food chain, are said to have such toxic elements as mercury in them, which can affect your neurodevelopment, cause cardiovascular and immunological problems. Fish are good, well, but you may need to take a second thought on which fish you lay your hands on.
Health experts have long touted the nutritional benefits of fish: These sea creatures rank high on lists of the best sources of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, high-quality protein, metabolism-friendly selenium, energy-boosting Vitamin B12, and inflammation-fighting Vitamin D. But even though eating fish is highly recommended, choosing which fish to eat can be more difficult than navigating a rowboat in a stormy sea.
When you buy fish, it can be tricky to balance your healthy eating ambitions with your concerns about your heart health and mercury levels—not to mention sustainable fishing practices or ocean health. Omega-3s are essential nutrients that help ward off heart disease, diabetes, and metabolism-slowing inflammation, and they’re primarily found in fish. Unfortunately, another element primarily found in fish is mercury.
Human exposure to mercury is mostly through seafood consumption, and this exposure has been found to cause adverse neurodevelopmental, cardiovascular and immunological health effects in sufficient doses, according to studies in neurotoxic ology, Journal of Pediatrics, and Environmental Research. The FDA considers that the 1,000 parts per billion (ppb) limit provides an adequate margin of safety for adult men and women, and environmental advocacy groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) recommend pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant should avoid eating fish highest in mercury at 500 ppb and over.