Storing Tilapia

If you want to include tilapia in your next meal, it’s important to be aware of how to store your fish in the right environment to maximize freshness and avoid the potential of foodborne illness. If you live far from your supermarket seafood counter or fishmonger, it’s a good idea to plan ahead.

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What Makes Tilapia Nutritious?

What Makes Tilapia Nutritious?

We’re here to set the record straight. Not crooked, not slightly askew, straight. While the internet has been so focused on how “tilapia is worse than bacon,” people have overlooked the health benefits that this versatile, white fish can bring to the table, literally. 1. Omega-3 Essential Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Okay, so it doesn’t have as much as oily fish like salmon. But if you want to up your omega-3 intake without all that fishy flavor or taking a fish oil pill, tilapia is the way to go. With an average of about 37 mg in a 4-oz serving, this fish can still provide essential macronutrients needed for healthy brain development, especially in young children. 2. Omega-6 Essential Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Again, while omega-6 has been listed as an “undesirable” fatty acid that encourages inflammation, the benefits haven’t been emphasized as much as they should have. Like Omega-3, Omega-6 is a macronutrient that the human body needs but cannot create on its own. Therefore, it needs to be consumed in order to experience the benefits. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center,[1] omega-6 fatty acids play a vital role in brain function and normal growth and development. It also stimulates skin and hair growth, maintains bone health, regulates metabolism, and maintains the reproductive system. Unfortunately, the American diet can sometimes revolve around the over-consumption of omega-6-rich foods like vegetable oil, and that leads to an excessive amount of this fatty acid. Remember folks, moderation is key, and with only an average of 244 mg in a 4-oz serving of tilapia, it should not automatically be shunned away as a fish option. 3. Rich Fountain of Protein With an average of 21 grams of protein in a 4-oz tilapia fillet, what’s not to love? That’s almost half of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDA)[2] for protein. If you need to build muscle without consuming more fat, tilapia is a great option to help you do so. 4. Low in Fat Tilapia has an average of only about 1.5 grams of fat per every 4-oz serving. From that amount, more than half of that fat is made up of unsaturated fatty acids, such as the essential omega-3’s and omega-6’s mentioned above. Therefore, tilapia has very minimal if not zero amounts of saturated fats. 5. Little to No Mercury Wild-caught fish run the risk of carrying contaminants that cannot be supervised like a closed environment can. Additionally, tilapia are very low on the food chain, so they eat vegetable-based feeds and algae. The higher up you go on the food chain, the higher the chances you have of consuming mercury. 6. Fewer calories The average 4-oz fillet of tilapia has approximately 100 calories. That’s it. If you are planning on burning more calories than you consume, tilapia is an excellent choice to help you do so. 7. Calcium If building strong bones is a goal in your radar, approximately 8.3 mg of calcium in this fish can certainly help you get there.   Sources University of Maryland Medical Center Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)

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Tilapia and Protein

Tilapia and Protein

If you’ve ever taken a course in biology, you may recall that protein is one of the 4 essential building blocks of life, along with carbohydrates, fats, and nucleic acids. Nucleic acids already exist in our bodies through DNA (and RNA, if you want to get extra technical). Carbs, fats, and protein, however, have to be regulated through our diet. While we tend to limit ourselves on how much fat and how many carbs we should eat, it seems we can’t get enough of protein. Protein is needed to build and maintain tissue and organs in your body. It is also essential for almost every function of cellular life. In essence, no protein, no cells, no you. On a larger, less microscopic scale, protein is necessary for the development of muscle mass. For athletes it’s important to maintain a balance between fat, carbohydrates, and protein to build a lean and muscular physique. But if you’re just a regular Joe who wants to maintain a healthy lifestyle, how much protein should you eat? There are a few factors that play in to how much you should consume, such as weight, gender, and level of lethargy, obviously. This calculator [1] for Daily Reference Intake (DRI) by the USDA is a great way to find out exactly how much protein you need for your particular body type and lifestyle. You can also find out about recommended amounts of fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals you need, to name a few. So now we know that we need protein; how do we incorporate it into our diets? Our shocking answer would be by eating more tilapia. It provides 21 grams of protein in a 4 oz. fillet, which for some people could amount to almost half of the daily recommended intake. It’s also a great way to incorporate seafood into your diet, which the USDA [2] recommends should be eaten twice a week. What’s missing? Some vegetables on the side and fruit for dessert. Sources https://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/interactiveDRI/ https://www.choosemyplate.gov/ten-tips-eat-seafood

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"Clean Tilapia": What is it?

"Clean Tilapia": What is it?

Question: Why you would care about clean tilapia? You want healthy food. Clean tilapia is fed a plant-based diet and is 100% free of antibiotics, hormones, and growth promoters. While it is raised on farms, it is raised under controlled conditions that are carefully maintained and audited by third party observers. You cannot say the same about any of the other major sources of protein. Beef, pork and chicken are almost assured to be artificially modified unless you pay extra for organic. Cost. Pound for pound, clean tilapia is on the lower end of the cost spectrum. Prices may vary from store to store as well as different times of year; however, it is generally one of the lowest priced options for protein — if not the lowest. To find out where to buy clean tilapia keep reading as all Tilapia is not created equally. Macros. If you are one of the many health-conscious people out there, then chances are you track your macros and therefore you know how easy it can be to eat too much fat trying to hit your protein. Here’s a fun fact: Four ounces of Tilapia from Ecuador contains 90 calories, 20.5 grams of protein, and only .75 grams of fat. Yes, you read that right. Given that new information, let’s discuss what “clean tilapia” is and what it means for your diet. You may have heard a lot of negative things about the hazards associated with eating tilapia. We often hear things like: It’s worse for your health than bacon. They’re fed animal waste. It’s a dirty fish. Would you ever eat anything described like that? Much of the negative press tilapia receives may have started with the publication of a study from researchers at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. You can read an article on the study here, as well as a retort from Harvard Medical School here.The rumors weren’t shut down when met with the Wake Forest study and once a false rumor gets started, it tends to gain momentum.   Let's take a minute and unpack these arguments. It’s worse for your health than bacon. This stems from the assumption that the ratio within a normal diet of two different fatty acids (omega-6 and omega-3) should be around 2:1 which, in itself, is debatable. Anything higher than that may result in inflammation within the human body. To put this in perspective, a 4 oz. serving of tilapia contains about 0.4 grams, which is far less than bacon, which contains a higher ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. It’s a deceptive statement to make. They are fed animal waste. There hasn’t been any sound evidence proving that this is true. We can say, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that the tilapia we import are fed diets consisting of plant-based food sources. It’s a dirty fish. Tilapia is a low-calorie, high-protein fish that is beneficial to your health and wellness when added as a part of a well-balanced diet. Tilapia typically contains less mercury than other popular fish due to its diet and place in the food chain. Higher level predators, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish tend to contain far higher levels of mercury which, when consumed, can lead to very serious health problems. To help further tell our tale of necessary redemption, let’s talk import statistics. Latin America accounts for 96% of fresh tilapia imported into the United States with ZERO FDA rejections. The same cannot be said about other Asian and South Pacific sources of tilapia. The exact statistics can be found here. If you are wondering how or where to find clean tilapia, it’s quite simple, just ask where it comes from. If it is imported from Brazil, Ecuador, or Columbia, then you can typically trust it to be clean. If it is imported by Tropical Aquaculture Products, Inc, you can rest easy in knowing that they only import clean tilapia.

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