Walking around Manhattan this weekend, I came across the van pictured above. I had to take a photo of it because I thought the “meat without feet” thing was clever, and it made me want to write about the benefits of a diet high in fish consumption vs. one that is high in other animal proteins. While I think that being vegetarian is wonderful, I myself am not one. I try not to eat more than one animal/fish protein per day, if that, and when I do, it is fish 95% of the time. I eat fish over other proteins because it has many health benefits that chicken, pork and beef do not, and it also usually has a lower rate of the various chemicals and hormones that are pumped into the land-locked protein variety. That, and cooked the right way it is simply delicious!
Fish is a low-fat, high quality option for protein. Fish is also filled with omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins such as D (which many people are deficient in) and B2. Omega-3 fatty acids help maintain a healthy heart, aid healthy brain function, may decrease the risk of depression and other mental illnesses, and may prevent inflammation that leads to arthritis. Fish is also rich in calcium and a great source of minerals such as iron, zinc, magnesium and potassium. Cooking with fish, provided you aren’t deep-frying it, provides a light but hearty meal with tons of different options. From salmon to shrimp, there are hundreds of different ways to prepare seafood dishes.
Animal protein like beef and pork, on the other hand, contains a lot more saturated fat, is higher in calories, and may even increase the risk of certain cancers. I’m not saying you should shun the idea of indulging in a filet mignon next time you are invited to a steakhouse, but try to put red meat further on the back burner and bring leaner proteins like fish and even chicken to the forefront. When you do eat red meat, stick to lean cuts and educate yourself on where the meat is coming from and how it was raised. “Cheap” cuts of meat are likely to be filled with hormones and preservatives that were pumped into the animals throughout their lives and after to mass produce. You’ll pay a little more, but it is well worth it to eliminate putting that kind of garbage in your body.
Some great recipe sites to get you started were covered in one of my recent blog posts, which you can read by clicking here.