The French are some of the largest consumers of fish in Europe, eating an average of 25kg per year (source Agrimer). Cooked in a pan, in the oven, on the barbecue or made into a tartar … fish can be consumed in various forms, and remains a staple in our diet.

Maïa Baudelaire, Nutritionist and Slimming Coach expert in Micro-Nutrition offers some tips on how to to continue eating your favourite fish without bankrupting you!

Fish. Is it really that good for your heart and your figure?

Fish has an incredible number of nutritional qualities.

As is well known, fish is a natural source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s helps to thin blood by decreasing the quantity of bad fats in the blood and exerting a protective effect on the heart. The fatter the fish, the more Omega-3 it contains. Therefore, 100 g of skate provides 0.15 g of Omega-3, while 100 g of mackerel provides 3 g (source: Nutraqua). A portion of ‘fatty’ fish like salmon or mackerel, covers the recommended daily dietary intake by providing more than 2 g of Omega-3 fatty acid.

Many studies and surveys have proven that a regular intake of Omega-3 can reduce the development of cardiovascular disease. This is why it is recommended to consume fatty fish at least two or three times a week.

In addition, fish is a significant source of protein as it contains between 15 to 24% protein. Thus, 100 g of fish provides as much protein as 100 g of meat or poultry. Furthermore, fish contains amino acids which are essential in producing cell growth and cell renewal.

To complement the action of proteins, fish is also rich in vitamin B which has a beneficial effect on the memory.

Low in calories and bad fats, but rich in proteins and micro-nutrients, fish is also a fantastic slimming ally.

How to eat fish without breaking the bank?

It’s difficult to buy fish without making a hole in your wallet. Here are some tips on how to eat fish, even in times of a mini-financial crisis:

Frozen fish

Through freezing, its possible to preserve all the flavours and nutritional qualities of fish and shellfish. So if you don’t find anything which tempts you at the local market, or if you think that fresh fish is too expensive, go to a shop specialising in frozen food.

Canned fish

Canned fish is just as rich in Omega-3s and protein as fresh fish. The only difference is the price; canned fish can be up to twice as cheap. So don’t hesitate in buying canned mackerel, sardines, herring and tuna which is just as beneficial to your health as anything found at the fish market. And if the “soft” bones get in the way … just eat them! They will increase your calcium intake.

Farmed fish

If you absolutely want to eat fresh fish without exceeding your budget, choose farmed fish. Farmed fish is a-seasonal as it doesn’t depend on climatic conditions, so it remains affordable throughout the year. On the other hand, try to choose a fish that meets the Red Label standards and charters qualities to ensure good nutritional qualities.

Maïa Baudelaire’s Advice

Eat fish (fresh, frozen, canned) at least 3-4 times a week. To make the most of it’s natural benefits, my advice is to prepare it in foil, steamed, baked or grilled. And avoid frying it as that will significantly reduce the protective effect of Omega-3 on the memory and furthermore, it’s more calorific!

Look out for our recipe for Light Quiche with Salmon and Leeks

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