Sirwin
Sirwin
courtesy of Geraud Pfeiffer

Something Fishy’s Goin’ On (I don't like fish.... really)


(photo courtesy of Geraud Pfeiffer)

In four previous posts, I’ve talked about other food groups (see links at the end of this post). I’ve avoided this topic because, frankly, I’m not passionate about fish… at all. However, it’s important to consider the benefits of fish on a calorie deficit diet because fish can be a low calorie protein. That is the biggest benefit of fish with respect to the calorie deficit diet. If you are a fish lover, you may be disappointed in this post due to my lack of enthusiasm. Please add any helpful fish tips you have in the comments below.

 

There are some fish we need to be cautious about eating. Please do your research and consult with your medical professional before adding fish to your diet. There are several types of fish that are known to have high mercury counts and should not be eaten frequently or during pregnancy or nursing.

 

Many species of fish are packed with omega-3 fatty acids which help can help lower bad cholesterol levels. Additionally, fish has shown to have anti-oxidation, anti-inflammation, and wound healing properties as well as several other benefits, based on a critical review of the health benefits of fish consumption shown on the National Institute of Health website. Needless to say, there are many positive outcomes associated with eating certain types of fish.

 

Honestly, if I never ate another piece of fish, I’d be okay with that. I was born and raised in New England so clearly my lack of love for fish is sacrilege. I must also admit that lobster does nothing for me as well, but don’t tell anyone. The way I will eat fish, and can somewhat enjoy it, is battered, deep fried, with tartar sauce or ketchup, along with a side of French fries and coleslaw. Usually, it would be catfish or haddock. Unfortunately, that is NOT the way to eat it on a calorie deficit diet, by the way.

 

I do have one secret fishy passion, though: fried clams. My permanent residence is nowhere near New England so the only time I can get fried clams is while camping up there in the summer. It is one of two foods I make sure I treat myself with at least one time while camping. The other is black raspberry ice cream (but that is a whole other post).

 

I’m not going to talk about sushi in this post. I don’t eat it and I am not knowledgeable enough to talk about it. I do think, however that it would be extremely hard to figure out how many calories you are consuming with sushi, unless someone had already figured that out for you, which could be the case.

 

So, do I eat fish on this diet? Yes, because it’s good for me. Yes, because sometimes it is the best option when eating at a restaurant. Yes, because it’s Tuesday, and Tuesday is fish night when we are not camping (yes, I have an anal-retentive engineer husband).

 

My husband is less of a fish eater than I am, so we had to find a fish and a method of cooking that was acceptable to us. We have two fish dishes that we prepare at home. One is a grilled mahi-mahi. The other is seared ahi tuna.

 

For the seared ahi tuna, my husband adapted a recipe he found in a cookbook titled “Eat This Not That.” We usually have the seared tuna with frozen asparagus spears and brown rice. This is a very calorie friendly meal. Four ounces of ahi tuna is 130 calories, a ½ cup of cooked brown rice is 170 calories and the asparagus is about 20 calories for seven spears, which is half of the bag of asparagus we buy. There is a sauce that goes with the tuna made from low sodium soy sauce, finely chopped scallions, rice wine vinegar, and ginger. While I am not a fan of fish, this is one dish I can tolerate and the little bit of sauce I drizzle on the fish improves the taste. That is a pretty decent meal for 350 calories or less and there is enough protein to make it filling. You can even up your ahi tuna to six ounces, and it is still a great diet meal of around 400 calories depending on how much sauce you use.

 

The grilled mahi-mahi is our other fish dish. My husband uses breadcrumbs and grated parmesan to coat his filet, but I do not because it adds more calories. A four-ounce mahi-mahi filet is about 100 calories, so this is a very diet-friendly protein as well. This fish is very mild tasting so I’m okay with just grilling it and maybe squeezing some lemon juice on it after it has cooked. We also eat the same side dishes with this fish as we do with the ahi tuna. This meal would come in under 400 calories as well.

Being from New England, I do eat baked haddock at restaurants when we are in that part of the country. Three ounces of cooked haddock is about 95 calories, so this is another good fish to eat on this diet. Of course, those calories don’t include the “baked stuffed” part of a restaurant haddock dish.

 

I’ve mentioned that I eat fried clams, but they aren’t the only shellfish I will eat. I do eat shrimp very occasionally, depending on how they are prepared. My preferred method is wrapped in bacon, but I will eat them fried. Our local diner has an ‘all you can eat’ shrimp and catfish night every Friday. My husband will not eat bottom feeders or filter feeders, so we rarely go to the diner for that. I have found calorie counts for shrimp ranging from 50 to 100 for three ounces. One article I read claimed a three-ounce serving was 15 calories less than a three-ounce chicken breast. However, shrimp tend to be high in cholesterol, even though they have many health benefits.

 

What about canned tuna fish? Canned tuna fish was a popular diet sandwich food in my youth. Some people even put it on salad, which is even healthier, but it is not my preferred way to eat it. I’m not sure how many people still consume it today, but it’s worth a mention. I haven’t eaten it much because I won’t eat it unless it is mixed with mayonnaise, which I assumed was too fattening and too caloric. If I were going to eat canned tuna fish today, I would opt for the light tuna, packed in water. One 5.4 oz can (at Kroger) is about 80 calories. Two tablespoons of lite mayonnaise is about 70 calories depending on the brand you buy. Add some celery, some pickles or relish and that is maybe 10 calories. There are wraps and low calorie breads that are less than 100 calories so you can enjoy a tuna fish salad sandwich or wrap for a reasonable calorie count of less than 300 calories. I may have to add this back into my lunch rotation.

 

If I were going to try and add fish to my diet for the first time, I don’t think I’d try to cook it myself. I think I would take a chance at a restaurant or maybe hit up a fish-loving friend to make something I would like. I would stick with a mild, white fish with no skin. Maybe pick a dish that had a sauce with the fish. The goal is to make it more palatable without adding an absurd number of calories.

 

That’s all I have to say about fish. If you are not a fish eater, think about giving it a try.

 

Other posts in my blog with food-related tips, tricks and dietary information:

I’m Having a Crisis (An Eggxistential One) (publish0x.com)

I Just Wanna Veg…. (It’s Not Easy Eating Green) (publish0x.com)

Fruit – OMG!!! SUGAR!!! (publish0x.com)

Meaty Subjects….(Moo, Peep, Oink) (publish0x.com)

 

The post that explains the calorie deficit diet:

This is How We Do It! (publish0x.com)

 

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7th Decade Redhead
7th Decade Redhead

I'm 60+ years old female retiree who is finally figuring out why she's been struggling with losing weight her whole life. I want to share the lessons I learned so others can help themselves with their own weight loss struggles earlier in their lives.


60 Pounds by 60 Years
60 Pounds by 60 Years

My final weight loss attempt after 40 years of different diet failures. No shakes, no supplements, no surgery, no crazy food, no purchased meal plans, no fasting. Creating a healthier relationship with food and facing the painful truth about my relationship surrounding food. No BS, just common sense. And it worked.

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