SMART SEAFOOD, TAKEOUT TIPS #462 06/01/2011
Tell a friend

The only kind of seafood I trust is the fish stick, a totally featureless fish that doesn't have eyeballs or fins.

Dave Barry

Back to top.

BREAKING NEWS: Shakeology® creator on FOX News

Superfood hunter and Shakeology creator Darin Olien was recently profiled on KTTV FOX 11 in Los Angeles. Take a look at how Darin finds the best superfoods in the world. Click below to watch the video.

Shakeology®—THE HEALTHIEST MEAL OF THE DAY—Increase energy, Transform health, Lose weight, feel great�FREE SHIPPING! CLICK HERE

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

Back to top.


Seafood Done Smart

By Andrew Rice

My wife and I fight about fish.

Other couples may fight over the remote control, about whose in-laws will get a holiday visit, or about who left the toilet seat up (again). We don't, but sometimes we do fight about the relative merits of mariculture (fish farming) vs. wild-caught fish. My wife recoils at the thought of eating farm-raised Atlantic salmon as if it were pen-raised veal. I'm troubled by the overfishing of wild stocks of fish all over the world. At other times, we squabble about whether we should let our son eat yellowfin tuna, which we all love, but which also contains high levels of mercury.

Salmon and Veggies

Our various struggles are just a microcosm of the larger debates about eating fish. The fact is, there's no one easy answer when it comes to picking fish that is healthy, environmentally sustainable, affordable, and delicious. But don't worry; with a little research, it's possible to find the right fish to grace your dinner table. Here are some tips.

Fish fat: fabulous for you!

There wouldn't be much point in eating fish if it were bad for us. To begin with, seafood is a great source of protein, generally low in fat and reasonably low in cholesterol. But it has other benefits too. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which runs America's national marine sanctuaries, says research has shown that eating seafood may reduce our risk for a number of unhealthy conditions, including stroke, hypertension, and heart disease.

SalmonWhy is it seafood that has these benefits rather than, say, a giant cheeseburger? Because seafood is rich in certain polyunsaturated fatty acids commonly known as omega-3 fatty acids whereas the cheeseburger is just rich in fat. Not all fish are made equally when it comes to their omega-3 content. The best are cold-water fish, like wild salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, and herring. Studies by the Washington State Department of Fisheries have found that wild and farmed salmon both have roughly the same amounts of omega-3s per portion. Sardines and other small fish are also excellent sources.

Malevolent mercury

Of course, the flip side of the health equation is the concern about levels of methylmercury in fish. This heavy trace metal is the fallout of industrial pollution of the atmosphere, largely from the burning of coal, and has been linked to brain damage and birth defects. All fish contain some mercury, but the health benefits of most fish species generally outweigh the downside. The best rule of thumb is to avoid large fish that live a long time, as they accumulate the most mercury in their flesh. The EPA advises that consumers avoid shark, swordfish, and king mackerel. Smaller fish like sardines, anchovies, and herring tend to have the lowest mercury levels, as do shellfish like shrimp, lobster, and scallops. Larger fish like halibut, tuna, and salmon have higher levels but not dangerously so, unless you eat them in very large quantities.

To keep your mercury levels in the safe zone, the Natural Resources Defense Council advises eating unlimited quantities of low-mercury species like tilapia, anchovies, catfish, and freshwater trout. You should limit your intake of moderate-mercury species like halibut, lobster, and mahi-mahi to less than six servings per month. Eat no more than three servings per month of high-mercury species like tuna, albacore, and sea bass. And, as mentioned earlier, entirely avoid species like shark, swordfish, and king mackerel.

Is seafood safe for kids?

Kid Eating FoodThe verdict on whether or not to feed my 9-year-old son the yellowfin tuna sushi he loves so much (aka maguro, at your local sushi joint) turned out to be a hung jury. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council Web page about mercury levels in fish, both children under 6 years of age and pregnant women should avoid high-mercury species entirely. According to the NRDC, at 9, my son can safely eat tuna, albacore, and other varieties in the high-mercury category, but he should limit his intake to less than 1 ounce of tuna per 12 pounds of body weight per week (in his case, about 6 ounces per week), which is a pretty good portion of sushi.

If you think you or your loved ones might already be suffering from elevated mercury levels, the Sierra Club offers mercury testing for $20.00 per person. You simply download and print out the brochure here, fill it out, and mail it in to the address provided with a sample of hair cut according to the instructions. They'll test it and mail the results back to you in about a month.

The impact on our oceans

Finally, there are a lot of valid concerns about the environmental impact of our fish-eating habits, whether it's the depletion of wild tuna stocks by industrial fishing fleets or the localized pollution caused by pens of farm-raised salmon. Even more complicated, a fish that's okay to eat from one ocean or area, like California halibut, might be overfished or endangered in another, like Atlantic halibut.

The best single resource I've found for navigating the environmental questions around any species of fish or shellfish is the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Web site and downloadable buyer's guide. A PDF of the guide, customized for various regions, is available at http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/download.aspx.

I also downloaded the Seafood Watch app from the iTunes® store, which is great for checking whether or not you should buy that delicious-looking monkfish fillet on sale at your favorite grocery store. (The answer? No, because it's caught by trawlers that also catch endangered sea turtles.)

A short list of common species that are both mercury safe and environmentally sustainable includes domestically farmed freshwater fish like tilapia, catfish, and trout; wild-caught Alaskan salmon; Pacific halibut; sardines; and mahi-mahi.

Maybe now my wife and I can start fighting about something really important, like who's going to clean up after our seafood dinner.

Related Articles
"How to Trick Yourself into Eating Healthy Food"
"The Best Fats to Get Lean"
"10 Reasons to Eat Organically—and Locally"

Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Chat with Steve Edwards, the overseer of Beachbody's fitness and diet development (who also serves as your Fitness Advisor on the Message Boards), in the Beachbody Chat Room on Monday, June 6th, at 3:00 PM ET, 12:00 PM PT.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

Check out our Fitness Advisor's responses to your comments in Steve Edwards' Mailbag on the Message Boards. If you'd like to receive Steve Edwards' Mailbag by email, click here to subscribe to Steve's Health and Fitness Newsletter. And if you'd like to know more about Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope, recently named one of the Top 50 blogs covering the sports industry by the Masters in Sports Administration.

Submit A CommentTell A Friend Bookmark and Share

Back to top.



THE WEATHER'S GETTING HOT... ARE YOU?
TurboFire® Intense Cardio Conditioning—$10.00 OFF SHIPPING!
Clear Spacer Clear Spacer Clear Spacer TurboFire®
Chalene Johnson's hot new workouts will burn up to 9x more fat and calories than traditional cardio in less time. Plus SAVE $10.00 through Saturday, June 4th!*
Clear Spacer Clear Spacer
LEARN MORE
Leandro Carvalho's Brazil Butt Lift®—$8.00 OFF SHIPPING!
Clear Spacer Clear Spacer Clear Spacer Brazil Butt Lift®
Swimsuit season's just around the corner. Leandro Carvalho has the supermodel's secret to a perfect booty and a sleek, sexy physique. Plus SAVE $8.00 through Saturday, June 4th!*
Clear Spacer Clear Spacer
LEARN MORE
10-Minute Trainer®—$5.00 OFF SHIPPING!
Clear Spacer Clear Spacer Clear Spacer 10-Minute Trainer®
Short on time? Tony Horton's breakthrough Super Stacking™ Technique is like multitasking for your muscles. Give Tony 10 minutes, he'll give you results! Plus SAVE $5.00 through Saturday, June 4th!*
Clear Spacer Clear Spacer
LEARN MORE
Clear Spacer Clear Spacer Clear Spacer
Consult your physician and follow all safety instructions before beginning any exercise program or using any supplement or meal replacement product.
*Discount s&h offers are Web-only.
Clear Spacer Clear Spacer Clear Spacer
Shop All Best Sellers


Submit A CommentTell A Friend Bookmark and Share


Back to top.


Takeout Tips and Traps

By Joe Wilkes

In a perfect world, we'd all be able to spend each morning browsing the farmers' market for the ideal seasonal produce, then spend the afternoon making a nutritious meal that would bring a tear to Martha Stewart's eye with its flawless presentation. But in reality, sometimes you don't even have time to make do with what's in the fridge. You might even have to resort to what's hanging on your doorknob or stuck in your windshield wiper, the scourge of diets everywhere: the delivery menu.

Takeout Box

Ah, the delivery menu. A full meal (or more) brought to your door in 30 minutes or less. No cooking. No cleaning. It's like going to a fine restaurant—in your underpants. A dream come true. But it can be a nightmare for your figure if you succumb to some of the common pitfalls of deliverable cuisine. Here are some things to keep in mind so you can order your dinner in without having to let your pants out.

What to watch out for

  1. PizzaGood things come in small packages. Unfortunately, most delivery food comes in large packages. It's rare that you can get someone to bring you one or two slices of pizza. You usually get the whole pie. And Chinese and Thai food come in those top-heavy tapered white boxes, so while it may seem you've only eaten half a container, you've actually gone through most of it. Before you dig into your freshly arrived repast, get a plate from your kitchen. (Come on, someone else cooked the dinner, you can wash one plate!) Put a serving on your plate and put the rest in the refrigerator for another time. By removing the extra food, you'll significantly reduce the chance that you'll power-eat your way through two or three meals' worth of calories straight out of the container.
  2. Don't eat the "minimum." One problem with delivery, especially for single people, is that there's usually a $10.00 or $12.00 minimum. If the entrée you order doesn't meet the minimum delivery cost, don't be lured into loading up your order with fatty appetizers or extra desserts just to ensure free delivery. Instead, order two individual-sized entrées and put one in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch or dinner. You'll save money on the delivery fee, plus that's two nights in a row you don't have to cook. You win!
  3. Watch your sides. Your diet's already in trouble since you have to order a banquet's worth of food just to get the delivery guy to show up at your door. Don't get talked into the add-ons like egg rolls, breadsticks, or chicken wings. Don't let a craving, a zealous phone order-taker, or just plain habit talk you into indulging in these unnecessary extras. Your pizza's already going to run you roughly 300 calories a slice (and do you honestly expect to stop at just one?); do you really want to add 300 calories' worth of wings to that?
  4. Read the fine print. The best thing about Chinese, Thai, and other ethnic menus is that since the dish is in a foreign tongue, they usually have to add a couple of sentences about what's in the item and how it's prepared. Look for words and phrases like "steamed," "boiled," "all white meat," etc. Stay away from words like "fried," "crispy," "cheese-filled," "creamy," etc. Also, some menus include heart icons next to the healthier items—keep an eye out for those!
  5. Chili PeppersSpice it up. If you can take the heat, sprinkle some hot peppers on your pizza or order your food extra spicy! While some claims that spicy food will boost your metabolism are overexaggerated, there are some other benefits to eating the hot stuff. First off, peppers and curries add a lot of flavor without adding sodium, so pick dishes that emphasize spice over salt. Secondly, if your mouth is on fire, you might be encouraged to drink more water to cool you off. In addition to its myriad other benefits, water will help keep you feeling full, which helps a lot with portion control. (Avoid drinking high-calorie sodas, beers, or Thai iced tea [200 calories a serving] to put out the fire, though.)

What to order

Most of the restaurants that deliver are local eateries, not national chains, so we can't give you specific nutritional information for all of them, but here are some tips for good things to order and bad things to avoid for three of the most popular categories of restaurant.

Chinese

  • Bowl Of RiceGet steamed. Order steamed rice, not fried, and go with brown rice if they have it—it has extra fiber.
  • Veg out. Look for the dishes that are mostly vegetables and are steamed rather than fried. If you order dishes like beef and broccoli, ask them for extra broccoli.
  • Soup it up. Egg-drop, wonton, and hot-and-sour soups are good low-cal, low-fat options (although they usually have plenty of sodium, so no extra soy sauce!). Fill up on some soup and put away half your entrée for later.
  • Grease: not the word. Stay away from deep-fried dishes like egg rolls, crispy orange chicken, General Tso's chicken, sweet-and-sour pork, etc.
  • Lay off the sauce. Watch out for sauces made with corn syrup or oil. Request low sauce or no sauce. An order of kung pao chicken seems healthy but it's sautéed in enough oil that it can have up to 76 grams of fat—more than an entire day's worth. If possible, ask how it's prepared.
  • Pass up the salt. Ask for low-salt options. Don't use the full-sodium soy sauce packets that come with your meal. Instead, invest in your own bottle of low-sodium soy sauce. Also, make sure your restaurant is one of the many that no longer use monosodium glutamate (MSG) in their dishes.
  • Switch it up. For dinner combos, see if you can substitute healthier options for the normal items. For example, at my Panda Express®, they'll give me an extra serving of steamed vegetables instead of the side of starchy chow mein or fried rice that it typically comes with.
  • The future is bright, and light! A fortune cookie has only 30 calories and no fat, and potentially brings good news or a daily affirmation—treat yourself!

Pizza

  • Don't pick up that phone. It's hard to find healthy pizza and it's far better to make your own. If delivery's the only option, however, read on . . .
  • More veggies. Load up on veggie toppings like peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, fresh garlic, jalapeños, etc.
  • Less fat and/or less cheese. Ask for low-fat cheese, or ask them to use half the cheese.
  • Defeat the meat. Try to stay away from fatty meat toppings like pepperoni, meatballs, and sausage. Instead, try leaner options like Canadian bacon, chicken, or shrimp.
  • Bust the crust. Not all pizzas are created equal, and neither are their crusts. Most pizza chains list nutrition info on their Web sites. So make sure you take a look before ordering to ensure the smartest choice.

Thai

  • Veggie Stir-FryLighten up. Many of the same tips for Chinese food apply to Thai food as well. Try to get steamed brown rice and lots of vegetables and stay away from heavy sauces and high-sodium dishes.
  • Don't get saucy. Satay is a good option, but try not to use too much of the peanut dipping sauce, if any; that's where your calories will start to add up.
  • Don't go (coco)nuts. Watch the coconut milk. It's delicious, but usually extremely fattening. Try to look for dishes flavored with ginger, citrus, curry, or chilies instead. Or ask if they can prepare your dish with low-fat coconut milk.
  • Hold the milk. Thai restaurants offer a lot of delicious low-fat soups that you can fill up on. They also have some soups that are high in fat because of coconut milk. Try and order soups that don't include it. And as with all soups, keep an eye on the sodium.
  • Green and lean. Thai cuisine includes many salads that are a meal in themselves, such as Yum Nuah (beef salad) or Pla Goong (grilled shrimp salad). Many of these have simple lime juice dressings that are low in fat. But, as with American salads, caveat emptor, and ask the restaurant what's in the dressing.
  • Go fish (or tofu). Check out the fish and tofu options. Even more than their Chinese counterparts, Thai restaurants have lots of dishes that feature seafood and tofu. And if you don't care for either, the Thai spices might just help you overcome your aversion.

So while it's unlikely you'll lose much weight on a takeout diet, there are still a lot of ways you can minimize the damage. But if you're still afraid that takeout temptation will take out your resolve, try filling that "30 minutes or less" with a quick P90X® or P90X+® workout like Ab Ripper X or Abs/Core Plus while you're waiting for your food to arrive. Then you can enjoy that Szechwan chicken with a side of virtuousness.

Related Articles
"7 Substitutes for Diet-Killing Picnic Foods"
"9 Ways to Eat Healthily (and Cheaply)"
"9 Appetite-Suppressing Foods"

Joe WilkesQuestions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Chat with Steve Edwards, the overseer of Beachbody's fitness and diet development (who also serves as your Fitness Advisor on the Message Boards), in the Beachbody Chat Room on Monday, June 6th, at 3:00 PM ET, 12:00 PM PT.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

Check out our Fitness Advisor's responses to your comments in Steve Edwards' Mailbag on the Message Boards. If you'd like to receive Steve Edwards' Mailbag by email, click here to subscribe to Steve's Health and Fitness Newsletter. And if you'd like to know more about Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope, recently named one of the Top 50 blogs covering the sports industry by the Masters in Sports Administration.

Submit A CommentTell A Friend Bookmark and Share

Back to top.


Getting in Navy SEAL Shape!

lilvietsolja knew he was too skinny and too out of shape to achieve his dream of becoming a Navy SEAL. Then an actual Navy SEAL tipped him off to P90X. Now he's on his way to packing on the muscle that'll get him where he wants to go. Click below to watch the video.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

Back to top.



Recipe: Parmesan Fish Fillets

Parmesan Fish Fillets

Here's a light, high-protein dish that's super-easy to prepare and will work with almost any kind of fish that's in season. And most of the ingredients are things you might already have in your pantry. Fast, delicious, and nutritious!

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. white fish fillets (cod, flounder, turbot, sole, etc.)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt (to taste; optional)
  • 1/4 cup low-fat Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh parsley
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika

Preheat a large nonstick skillet. Wash fish fillets and pat dry. In a small bowl, combine basil, lemon pepper, garlic powder, and salt (if using). Sprinkle onto both sides of fish and cook for 5 minutes, turning once. Sprinkle fillets with cheese, parsley, and paprika, and cover pan. Cook for another 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Nutritional Information (per serving)
Calories Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total Saturated Fat
181 26 grams < 1 gram 1 gram 6 grams 4 grams

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

Back to top.


Print this page
Reviews
Total number of Reviews: 1
Submit a review  

"Great article! Seafood should be part of everyone's healthy diet even at the risk of heavy metal toxins at times. The fat and cholesterol content in fish is not so much a dietary risk but a benefit. Folks need not worry about those numbers and just enjoy a healthy portion as often as possible."

– Dr Stan Gross, O'Fallon, MO

Previous Next

Beachbody Survey

Click here to compare Beachbody fitness programs
eGift Cards are here!—Beachbody®—Order Now
P90X2™
ChaLEAN Extreme®
Kathy Smith's Project:YOU! Type 2™
Debbie Siebers' Slim in 6®
INSANITY®
Brazil Butt Lift®—AVAILABLE NOW!
Now Available—TurboFire®—Intense Cardio Conditioning—Learn More

Follow Beachbody Online

Connect with Beachbody, fans, coaches, and your favorite trainers!

Social Media
Beachbody
Beachbody
Blogs
Carl Daikeler
Beauty By Beachbody
Steve Edwards
Tony Horton
Chalene Johnson
Message Boards
Beachbody Message Boards
RSS Feeds (What is RSS?)
Beachbody Blog
P90X Extreme Newsletter

Share This Page

Bookmark or share this page by emailing it to your friends, or adding it to your favorite networking sites! Simply mouse over the Share icon below for options.

Bookmark and Share