Thursday, March 13, 2008

Are we getting our Omega 3's?

After going to the doctor and getting a less-than-favorable report on my cholesterol levels, I have made a fresh commitment to learning how to prepare more healthy foods. I am spending time online studying health and nutrition (although doing this is not new to me...I have battled weight issues for what seems like my entire life). Some of it is fresh learning, much of it is review, but all of it is newly motivating.

My recent marriage has brought a renewed sense of importance to my menu-planning and cooking. Although Terry does not have any known medical issues, at the age of 46, it is important for him to eat right as well. It is wonderful to read so many blogs from young women who have a strong sense of responsibility in this area for their family...the health of their husbands and children will bring their reward for years to come.

I, however, have stumbled through this part of my life's journey for many years. When my son was small, and showed signs of hyperactivity, I read and researched and fed him appropriately...and saw amazing results. I continued to struggle personally with my eating habits and was never quite able to make it stick for a lifetime.

While I won't waste time lamenting this, it is important to remember that it is never too late to make healthy changes. My body carries some health consequences from bad choices, but God has given us such an incredibly amazing physical body...and I know that that there is great potential for improvement and even reversal. At some point I will delve into that whole subject, but for now will leave it there.

The health habit I want to share today is the importance of getting the right healthy fats into our diets. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish) at least twice per week. Note: It is advised that pregnant women and mothers, nursing mothers, young children, and women who might become pregnant not eat several types of fish, including swordfish, shark, and king mackerel. These individuals should also limit consumption of other fish, including albacore tuna, salmon, and herring. They can take omega-3 fatty acids in quality dietary supplements that are certified mercury-free by a reputable third-party lab.

I happen to really love fish....certain kinds of fish, that is. Unfortunately, it is not the kind of fish that will provide me with the valuable omega-3 fatty acids that we all need. I found that the fish that are important to eat twice a week are: mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon. Hmmmmm.....the only one on this list I like is tuna!

However, I am committed. I've decided to do whatever it takes to get it into our diets twice a week and find ways to prepare it that are good and healthful. I have learned that the secret to enjoying fish is in the freshness and the recipe. I am in the process of learning how to get the freshest fish (without a high amount of mercury....another topic for another day ;) for a reasonable price. I am also in learning mode for recipes and preparation.

So, albacore tuna will be on our menu each week, and right now, I am focusing on salmon, trout and mackerel for the other meal.

In my quest to find healthy, tasty recipes that both me and my husband will enjoy, I found a salmon dish that was easy to prepare, not too high in calories, and there was none left! The only thing I did different was to add the rice to the fish for the last 15 minutes of its baking time (instead of at the beginning) to avoid the rice becoming over-crispy, since it was already cooked. I read some reviews where you can also use pineapple tidbits in place of the mango, using the juice as part of your rice cooking liquid. I may try that next time...yes, there will be a next time. It really was delicious considering that neither one of us are salmon fans...yet!!

I would love some feedback on other good recipes for those of us who are cultivating our taste buds in this way!!

For more good information on Omega 3's, click here and here

No comments: