According to a recent science advisory from the American Heart Association (AHA), eating seafood twice per week will significantly reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke, no matter what diet you're on . That's not surprising given that seafood is much higher in heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids than most other foods.
For those on a keto diet, eating seafood should be easy-peasy because most seafood is low in carbs. There are also hundreds of keto seafood recipes to choose from and that can help you include seafood into your weekly keto diet plan. We've found 5 easy and delicious keto seafood recipes to help you get started. Disclaimer: all include fish and we'll explain why.
Seafood commonly refers to both freshwater and saltwater fish and shellfish. But edible algae are also considered seafood.
Eating seafood on keto will help boost your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. These are a type of essential fatty acids, meaning your body can't make them on its own but needs to obtain them from food. Omega-3s found in seafood are called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are essential component of the brain, skin, retina, and sperm.
Furthermore, seafood is a health-promoting low-carb food. It's also a source of quality protein, fat-soluble vitamins, B vitamins, important minerals, and even antioxidants. It's also low in saturated fats, which many people want to limit.
If you need more convincing to start eating more fish, mussels, shrimp, algae, and other seafood, consider these benefits.
Fatty fish and other omega-3-rich seafood are the best sources of DHA, for which research shows have unique and indispensable roles in brain neuron membranes . Studies also show that DHAs are essential for normal brain development and that they protect against brain aging, neurodegenerative diseases .
Some plant foods also provide omega-3s in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Your body can convert ALA to DHA for your brain to use, but only to a small extent since studies show that less than 5% of ALA gets converted to DHA . That means that seafood remains the most reliable source of brain-benefiting DHAs.
Fish, especially wild and oily fish, is a great source of vitamin D3, which is the most bioavailable form of this nutrient essential for bone, immune, and metabolic health. Wild fish is exposed to sunlight, thus synthesizing greater levels of the sunshine vitamin . And because D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin, you'll get more from fatty fish than leaner fish.
An ounce of wild salmon, for example, contains around 450- 1.500 IU of vitamin D3 compared to the same serving of cod (a lean fish) that contains 80-127 IU, which is below the daily recommended intake for this nutrient . Furthermore, farmed salmon contains only 25% of the vitamin D3 found in wild salmon.
The most important determinant of protein quality is the amount of essential amino acids in it. Fish and shellfish contain all 9 essential amino acids, which makes it a quality protein source. But that's not the whole story. How well your body can use those proteins to, say, build muscle is another determinant. One study found that fish protein causes fast muscle growth, in addition to lowering blood glucose and fat in the liver .
Besides that, researchers found that fish contain bioactive peptides, which are protein fragments that exert a positive impact on health . Health benefits linked to these compounds include improved blood pressure, antibacterial action, reduced blood clotting, reduced inflammation, and antioxidant protection.
Diseases like diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and some types of cancer can be prevented with diet and lifestyle changes. Eating more fish, for example, definitely helps reduce your risk of these and other problems. Researchers believe most protective benefits of fish come from its omega-3 fatty acids .
Seaweed and algae can also offer unique benefits. These are rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals. Some sea plants are also rich in iodine, which is a nutrient essential for thyroid health. Seaweed is also a source of omega-3s but in small amounts.
As is always the case with making changes to your diet, you need to be familiar with the risks to make safe choices. Below are some known risks associated with eating seafood.
The prevalence rate of seafood allergies in the US is 2.3 percent . Most people with seafood allergies are allergic to shellfish, while only a smaller number are allergic to fish or both fish and shellfish. Symptoms of seafood allergies include vomiting, diarrhea, hives, wheezing, swelling of the tongue, dizziness, and a weak pulse.
Environmental pollution has let to many fish species being contaminated with mercury, a known neurotoxin. Fish that's highest in mercury are larger predatory fish like tuna and grouper. Smaller and short-living fish like sardines are lower in mercury. Because mercury exposure during pregnancy and infancy can be bad for a child's development, pregnant women are advised to limit their intake of high-mercury fish .
All 5 recipes below call for fatty fish because those are the most ketogenic. Including foods that are high both in fat and protein helps maintaining ketosis. That isn't to say you can't eat other seafood like shrimp or scallops.
This is a healthy snack to serve at parties or eat during lunchtime. One serving provides a bit over 400 calories, which definitely makes these balls a whole meal. The recipe is best with fresh salmon, but you can also use frozen salmon if that's more convenient.
Serves: 4 (12 balls, 3 per serving)
Calories 466; Total fat 35.8g; Total carbohydrate 3.5g; Dietary fiber 0.6g; Total sugars 1.7g;
A simple recipe that brings out the best in trout. Trout is a freshwater fish that has a mild flavor that pairs well with herbs, spices, and bacon like in this recipe. If you need a side dish to go with it, go for cauliflower mash with broccoli or Brussels sprouts.
Calories 745; Total fat 42g; Total carbohydrate 3.9g; Dietary fiber 2.2g; Total sugars 0.8g;
Mackerel is an oily fish with a particularly strong flavor. That's why it's best to keep things simple when preparing mackerel. This recipe uses only a handful of ingredients for the fish but adds just a bit more zest with the herbed butter you add once the fish is done. Make sure to get fresh mackerel since it tends to spoil quickly.
Nutrition info per serving
Calories 399; Total fat 32.6g; Total carbohydrate 0.9g; Dietary fiber 0.2g; Total sugars 0.2g;
The earthy flavor of salmon goes beautifully with refreshing and zesty caper sauce. Since this recipe calls for white wine, you might as well go for some quality wine like Sauvignon Blanc and have a glass with this fantastic dinner recipe. If you feel like this one needs a side dish, then go for roasted asparagus.
Nutrition info per serving
Calories 421; Total fat 31.8g; Total carbohydrate 1.9g; Dietary fiber 0.2g; Total sugars 0.3g;
If you're having guests over and want to make a gourmet meal, then try this tuna tartare with spicy harissa. Not only does it taste incredible, but it's also healthy. Do go for sushi-grade tuna to avoid parasites and food poisoning.
Calories 507; Total fat 33.7g; Total carbohydrate 4.6g; Dietary fiber 3.1g; Total sugars 0.1g;