Eating fish is good for us. Right? It’s a great source of protein, contains healthy fats that can reduce your cholesterol, omega-3 fatty acids that are great for heart health, and is even believed to help us live longer, but…that’s not the end of the story. We should be aware that eating some kinds of fish can also pose serious health risks, especially to pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children… that concern is mercury.
Mercury is actually found in trace amounts in all fish, and in small amounts, mercury is not hazardous to our health. However, in some fish, mercury exists in high enough levels that it can damage a fetus or newborn. That is why we need to be very careful about the amount and types of fish we eat. In fact, the FDA recommends that women who are pregnant or nursing and small children (under 6) should not eat more than 2 servings of fish a week and should only eat those fish with low mercury content. Dangerous mercury levels can also build up in adults, eventually becoming harmful to their health, including causing permanent damage to the kidneys and brain.
The more you know about the fish you eat, the better you can protect yourself and your family from dangerous levels of mercury. Fish are divided into categories based on their mercury content. These divisions indicate the lowest, moderate, high, and highest levels of mercury found in the fish we eat.
Baked Fish au Gratin
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
6 frozen or fresh fish fillets such as haddock or flounder (about 2 pounds), thawed
Nonstick cooking spray
1/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 1/4 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
1 cup bread crumbs
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place fillets in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish sprayed lightly with cooking spray.
• Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, cheese and seasoning in a bowl; mix well and spoon over fillets.
• Spray breadcrumbs lightly with cooking spray and toss to blend; sprinkle over cheese topping.
• Bake uncovered for 9 to 11 minutes. Toast in broiler for 30 seconds or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.
Total Fat: 9 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol: 60 mg
Sodium: 420 mg
Calcium: 25 % Daily Value
Protein: 33 g
Carbohydrates: 17 g
Dietary Fiber: 0 g
Recipe Source: Recipe created by Borden
Pesto Pasta with Shrimp
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
4 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves (or 1 [1-ounce] package)
2 garlic cloves, minced and divided
2 tablespoons walnuts
2 ounces Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 to 1/3 cup warm water
1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 of a lemon)
Dash of freshly ground black pepper
• Cook pasta according to package directions; set aside and keep warm.
• Place basil, half of garlic and next 4 ingredients (walnuts through pepper) in a food processor or blender; process in 10-second intervals or until finely chopped. Add oil and pulse 2 to 3 times or until combined. With processor on, slowly add water and continue processing until smooth. Toss with hot cooked pasta (add additional hot water if pasta becomes too thick).
• Coat a medium nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and remaining garlic; sautéed 1 minute. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until shrimp are done. Serve over pasta.
** Tip: This dish is best served just after preparing as this pesto uses considerably less oil than the traditional version. Otherwise, the pesto will begin to darken the longer it stands.
Total Fat: 19g
Saturated Fat: 5g
Dietary Fiber: 1g
Recipe Source: Cabot