Catch of the Day
Louisianians are a passionate bunch and argue about a lot of things. One thing most agree upon however, is how much we love our seafood.
Bonus: Louisiana seafood a local and sustainable food! But if you’re watching your weight and trying to stay heart healthy, is it something to embrace or avoid?
The Good News!
Local seafood is good for you! Molly Kimball, a registered dietitian with Ochsner Fitness Center, said our seafood delicacies are generally healthy dining options. Shrimp, redfish and all types of fresh fish are super-lean sources of protein and low in fat. They are even better for you than traditional healthy choices like grilled chicken.
“They [seafood] are ounce for ounce lower in calories than a grilled skinless chicken breast,” Kimball said.
Seafood across the board is an excellent way to improve your vitamin B intake. B vitamins are key for a body’s energy production.
Oysters have more carbs than other types of fish, but they make up for it by being very high in zinc. Zinc helps your body’s immune system and healing processes.
This doesn’t mean you should think “Great! I’m going to eat my favorite fried seafood poor boy three times a week now because it’s good for me!” While the healthy parts of seafood remain in those cases, the batter and the bread add calories and carbs.
If you feel like a fry, Kimball recommends using light batter or no batter. Use a light olive oil or an avocado oil (do not use extra virgin olive oil). Pecan oil is good for you, but very expensive.
Instead of deep frying the seafood, try pan-frying it in a skillet. Another fun option is a crawfish stir fry with vegetables. Use sesame oil instead of soy. If you want to include pasta or rice, use zucchini pasta or cauliflower rice.
Many Louisianians scoff at the idea of grilling or frying fish without giving it a little spicy kick. But not all seasonings are created equal. Kimball said traditional Cajun seasonings often have about 325 milligrams of sodium, but some brands take it easy. Geaux Creole has about 75 milligrams of sodium and Paul Prudhomme’s Seafood Magic has about 100 milligrams.
However, there is also a healthy way to season your seafood without going to the store: grow your own herbs! Kimball said basil, rosemary and oregano are among the healthy options you can grow in a garden at home.