Fish is a wonderful food. There are dozens of varieties to choose from and each one has its own distinct flavor that can be enhanced by various cooking methods. Not only is fish a tasty treat, but it is also a healthy food that is full of nutrients, making it a great staple food for weightlifters wanting to build muscle mass, fitness fans desiring a healthy lifestyle, and dieters looking to lose weight.
Check out the following top selections of fish types and some common cooking methods for preparing them.
Common Types of Fish
Salmon – Salmon is a culinary favorite due to its meaty texture, deep color and ease of preparation via a variety of methods. This incredible fish, born in fresh water and then migrates to salt water and then returns to fresh water to spawn, is rich in muscle-building protein and omega-3 fatty acids that helps to reduce bad cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Salmon can be baked, broiled, fried, smoked, or poached.
Both farm raised and wild salmon contains higher levels of omega-3 than almost all other fish sources at 1.9 grams per serving. Other fish choices that contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids are mackerel with 2.5 grams, swordfish with 0.6 grams, and yellowfish tuna and flounder at 0.2 grams.
Tuna – Tuna is another popular fish due to its dark, flaky texture and rich flavor. Tuna is a favorite of the fitness world because it is packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids as well as a variety of minerals including iron, potassium, magnesium, selenium, and phosphorus. Tuna contains 80% of your required daily B12, almost 30% of B6, and a full 100% of niacin requirements.
Tuna also makes for a great bodybuilding and weight loss food because it only contains 2% fat. Calorie content is also low with only 191 calories in a can of water packed tuna and 180 in a 6 oz steak. Tuna promotes optimal fat burning levels throughout the day.
Other health benefits of tuna include liver health due to its high levels of selenium (190% DV), which is used to flush away toxins and its ability through its high content of omega-3 and polyunsaturated fats to control high blood pressure. The 464 mg of omega-3 fatty acids contained in each serving also supports a healthy heart and reduces blood clotting that indirectly reduces the risk of stroke.
Tuna is a popular buy in cans, but fresh tuna can be purchased in a seafood market as well. Of course, tuna salad is a preferred way of preparing this super fish. However, whole tuna filets can be grilled (with the skin), fried (with or without skin), baked, poached, or steamed.
Trout – Although trout is of the salmon family, it is entirely different in texture and flavor. Trout is much lighter than salmon, takes much less time to prepare, and has a milder flavor. There are also many different types of this freshwater fish with Rainbow Trout being the more popular American version. All types provide considerable health benefits and, depending on which variety you select, the flesh ranges from orange to pink to white in color.
Trout is a great selection for those into weightlifting and powerlifting as a 3-ounce filet contains 19 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat, much of which are contained in its rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. In this same serving size, trout also provides 89% of your vitamin B12, 15% of vitamin B6, and 25% of niacin requirements, as well as good portions of selenium, phosphorous, and potassium.
Eating trout regularly reduces the risk for heart disease, stroke, arterial clotting and high blood pressure, as well as reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. Trout normally tastes best fried, but healthier ways of preparing this delicious fish is by baking or grilling it.
Mackerel – Mackerel is another excellent fish selection for those serious into weightlifting because it contains a large amount of both protein and calories. One 3 oz serving provides 21 g of protein and 230 calories.
Fat content is also high at 16 g per serving, 4 g of which are saturated fat. However, that same portion of mackerel contains almost 3,000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids as well as 101% of the daily value of vitamin D, 163% DV of vitamin B12, 22% DV of vitamin B6, and 51% DV of niacin.
Strong bones are promoted through consuming vitamin D and energy conversion is aided through vitamins B6 and B12 and niacin. Mackerel also contains 71% DV selenium, 24% DV phosphorus, and 21% DV magnesium.
Mackerel is best prepared either fried or poached.
Methods of Preparing Fish
Fried Fish – Many people believe that fried fish is the tastiest. However, frying also happens to be the unhealthiest method for preparing fish. Not only does frying fish add calories, but is also creates highly oxidized oils that are extremely unhealthy. If you really like the taste of fried fish, eat it in moderation, avoid deep frying and overcooking and substitute recipes using the following cooking methods for in between.
Grilled Fish – Grilling your fish filets is a good substitute for frying because it provides a crispy texture similar to frying and adds a good smoked taste. For a grilled variation, you can wrap the fish in foil and add lemon juice or just a touch of olive oil, spices and even vegetables for a tender, flaky texture that also has that delicious smoked flavor.
Poached Fish – Poaching your fish is another good preparation method for this nutritious food. However, what liquids and ingredients you use to poach your fish in will determine how healthy it is. The best choice is to poach your fish in water with a dash of salt and herbal spices. If you choose to use other liquids for poaching, avoid cream and other unhealthy selections. Lemon juice and even grape juice make good alternatives.
Baked Fish – Fish recipes that call for baking are some of the best options for cooking fish. Baking requires less fatty oils and what little you do use produces a significant amount of flavor. Various seasonings can be added and fish can be given some crispiness by baking uncovered, or made tender and flaky by covering it or wrapping it in foil.
Fish is a wonderful choice when it comes to consuming healthy food for weightlifting, bodybuilding, fitness training, and weight loss.