How to fall in love with eating fish and include it in your diet: 6 mistakes to avoid

Fish is very good for health. But for a num­ber of rea­sons, many peo­ple avoid it. Here are some tips on how to intro­duce more fish into your diet.

It is rec­om­mend­ed to eat just two serv­ings of fish, one of which is oily fish, each week (one serv­ing is 140g). On aver­age, we only eat about a third of a serv­ing of oily fish per week. It’s time to fix this.

Per­haps there are rea­sons why you have refused fish so far.

“I don’t like the smell of fish”

It’s true that the smell of cook­ing fish (espe­cial­ly oily fish) can be over­whelm­ing, but there are ways to min­i­mize it. Instead of pan-fry­ing or grilling fish, cook it in the oven or in a cov­ered pan to con­tain the odor. Addi­tion­al­ly, pre­pared fish such as salmon (fresh or frozen) or canned fish have almost no fla­vor and don’t even require cook­ing. Try canned tuna sal­ad or salmon pas­ta.

“I don’t like bones”

You can buy fresh or frozen fish fil­lets in super­mar­kets — most fish come in this form — cod, had­dock, salmon, sea bass and tuna. Canned bones are already soft and can be eat­en; they are also an addi­tion­al source of cal­ci­um.

“I don’t like the taste”

If you don’t like the taste of fish, then mix it with oth­er prod­ucts so that its taste is not the main one, for exam­ple, fish pie or rolls. Try adding canned tuna to pas­ta or risot­to. You can try serv­ing the fish in toma­to sauce, white sauce (yogurt, sour cream) to break up the fla­vor, or even make a fish cur­ry.
White fish tend to have a milder fla­vor and firmer tex­ture. Cod, hake or sole are good options to start with.

“Fish is difficult to cook”

Fish is actu­al­ly very easy to cook. If you buy fil­lets, all you have to do is sea­son them with black pep­per and place them in a hot pan or oven. You can cook thin fil­lets in the oven in 15 min­utes. Or toss the diced fish into a pot of hot sauce at the end of cook­ing, cov­er, and it’s ready in less than 10 min­utes. It’s faster than take­out.

“Fish is expensive”

If you choose care­ful­ly, fish can be quite afford­able for you. Frozen fish is often cheap­er than fresh fil­lets and can work very well in a fish pie. Frozen white fish fil­lets such as pol­lock and cod are gen­er­al­ly the best val­ue for mon­ey. What­ev­er you choose, make sure there is no extra salt or fat in your fish — use your own fla­vor­ings such as lemon, black pep­per, chilli or pars­ley. Smoked fish such as smoked had­dock, mack­er­el or salmon can also be an inex­pen­sive and con­ve­nient option, but they are high in salt.
Canned fish such as sar­dines, tuna and salmon are real­ly good options. You can store these jars for a long time and they are incred­i­bly ver­sa­tile. Use it for sand­wich­es, pies or with pas­ta.

“I don’t need fish to get omega-3s.”

Omega‑3 sup­ple­ments are now wide­ly avail­able, but they don’t pro­vide the oth­er nutri­ents you can get from fish, which is where the great­est health ben­e­fits lie.
Omega‑3 fats, which you can get from veg­e­tar­i­an sources such as wal­nuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, flaxseed oil and canola oil, are essen­tial fats, but they are not the same type of fats you get from fish. The body must con­vert them into longer chain omega‑3 fat­ty acids. This process is not very effi­cient, and it is unclear how much plant sources one would need to con­sume to get an equiv­a­lent amount of omega-3s from fish.

If you have eat­en fish very rarely before, then you should not imme­di­ate­ly try to include just ready-made fish steaks. Try mixed options first and per­haps fish will now be reg­u­lar­ly present in your diet.

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