Seafood - Protein of Choice

By Chef Don Doward

 

If you are looking for a great protein source, you can't beat the quality of fresh wild seafood. Fish is one of the healthiest foods available. Along with being high in Omega-3’s, which can fight depression and anxiety, it is loaded with protein and Vitamin D. Often called brain food, fish has been shown in studies to help memory and boost learning in children.

However, all seafood is not created equal. There is an ongoing battle between wild seafood and farm raised. We live in a country surrounded by oceans and loaded with rivers, yet according to the FDA, 90% of the seafood we eat in this country is imported. For example, most restaurants today use shrimp imported from Asian countries, where there is no FDA. These shrimp are raised in deplorable conditions, leading to disease, which in turn leads to antibiotics being added. Recently, Japan has refused to accept any shrimp imports from Thailand because of the illness caused from its consumption. I’m a chef, not a scientist; but I always felt that this could be a major reason why we are building immunities to the antibiotics. The FDA has recently come out and verified that. Even after the oil spill in the Gulf, shrimp from the Gulf were a better choice.

Salmon has been touted as being one of our best seafood choices for valuable Omega-3’s. Wild salmon are powerful swimmers, heading down stream then upstream eating the vegetation, krill and other small fish to get protein and vitamins. Wild salmon is easy to spot with its naturally occurring bright pink color. Farm raised salmon is loaded with antibiotics, and gets its hue from a red dye that the government allows to be added during processing.

When it comes to fish–and any food–don’t let labels fool you. “Atlantic Salmon” suggests that the fish is fresh and wild, but in fact the name refers to a species of fish; not where the fish can be found. In fact, Atlantic Salmon is all farm raised. If you ask a nutritionist about the nutritional value comparison, they will probably say they are the same. However, the quality of the protein and vitamins is far superior in wild seafood.

When shopping for seafood, first try your local fish monger. Not only will he or she know where the fish was caught, but also by whom and when. There is another way to be sure that we are eating good seafood while being environmentally friendly. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a free app (found at www.seafoodwatch.org) that helps identifies endangered species, and suggests alternatives.

Shrimp Scampi

4 oz. uncooked whole wheat or quinoa pasta
8 oz 21-25 PDQ Gulf Shrimp
1/2 Tomato Diced
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Fresh Grated Romano Cheese
2 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Parsley
2 Tablespoons finely minced Onion
3 Tablespoons Minced Garlic
2 oz. low sodium free range Chicken broth
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 oz White wine optional
Black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cook and cool pasta
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in oil for about 1 minute
  3. Add shrimp, cook approximately 3 minutes, stirring occasionally
  4. Add tomatoes and chicken broth, cook about 2 minutes more
  5. Add wine, cook off
  6. Add pasta, cheese, lemon juice, pepper then toss and serve

 

  Don Doward is a Life style Design Consultant who brings a unique out look on fitness and meal design. With 45 years as Chef in some of the highest grossing restaurants in the country as well as 20 years in the fitness industry as a Certified Fitness Trainer, Master Trainer, Master of Fitness Sciences.  

 

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