You have probably heard that eating more fish and less red meat is better for your health. Fish, in general, is lower in fat than red meats, but still contain high amounts of protein. White fish like halibut, cod and sea bass meet these standards but other fish that are considered to be oily fish, such as salmon and fresh tuna, provide low fat, high protein and even more nutritional benefits due to the natural oil that runs throughout the flesh of the fish. One would think oily fish would be super high in calories and so rich in fat that the health benefits would be minimal, but it’s quite the opposite.
While these fish are higher in fat, they are higher in polyunsaturated fat, or the better fat, and have little saturated fat. They are also high in the concentration of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids, which can only be obtained from foods and supplements as the body does not produce these naturally. These essential fatty acids provide numerous health benefits including the reduction of “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, aiding in the alleviation of inflammation due to arthritis, helping to lower blood pressure, aiding in the reduction of heart attack and stroke, working to improve heart and blood circulation and helping to reduce the risk of depression.
Oily fish are rich in vitamins A, D, E and K, which have antioxidant properties and improve the blood’s ability to clot. These mineral-rich fish are known to contain iodine, selenium, calcium, zinc and magnesium. Popular fish with these properties are trout, eel, swordfish, fresh tuna (not canned) and, as mentioned, salmon. Having a naturally rich flavor, these fish are best consumed baked, grilled, steamed or smoked with simple seasonings such as a little sea salt and black or white pepper, or even a light blackened seasoning.
These fish pair well with delicious simple sauces like those made with lemon and dill, a fruit salsa (like mango, red bell pepper, red onion, cilantro and white wine vinegar), and served over mixed greens or with an herbed rice pilaf. Because of the rich vitamins, minerals and fatty acids these oily fish contain, limit your weekly intake to one or two servings of about 4 to 5 ounces each.
with Santa Fe Verde Sauce
- Four 4 to 5 oz. salmon filets, skin on preferred
- Olive oil as needed (about ¼ cup)
- Sea salt (about 1/8 teaspoon)
- Black pepper (about 1/8 teaspoon)
- 1 8 oz. package Fortun Finishing Touch Santa Fe Verde Sauce
1. Preheat broiler to high heat. Place salmon filet on aluminum paper, skin side up. Lightly coat with olive oil. Flip salmon over (skin side down) and coat other side lightly with olive oil and season with a pinch or two of sea salt and black pepper. Place salmon under broiler and broil approximately 5 minutes (for salmon that’s about 1 to 2 inches thick). Remove from oven, turn salmon over to skin side up. Return to broiler and broil an additional 5 to 6 minutes.
2. While salmon is broiling, cut open sauce pouch and heat in small boiler over medium heat until heated through.
3. Remove salmon from broiler. Place on dinner plate and serve with 1 to 2 tablespoons Sante Fe Verde sauce. Enjoy!
By Susan Irby, Photo by GreggEvanPhotography