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Posts Tagged ‘Omega 3 fatty acids’

Shrimp is the fish that even people who don’t like fish are happy to  see on a plate.  I confess that shrimp is one of my favorite foods.  Like  that scene in Forrest Gump, I like  broiled shrimp, shrimp cocktail, fried shrimp, shrimp salad, stuffed shrimp….  I also felt that a dinner of shrimp  was a great low calorie meal.  It was  low in  salt, calories and fat  and high in protein and omega3.   It all true. 

A four ounce serving of shrimp  has just 99 calories and 21 grams of protein.  It also  offers  just about  a full days requirement of omega 3 and 1/2RDA of vitamin B12.  But shrimp is not the perfect food.  Turns out that, ounce for ounce,  shrimp  has as much cholesterol as beef, which means its not the heart healthiest  seafood option.  High cholesterol can build up  in blood vessels and slow down circulation.  Keep in mind that anything that interferes with blood flow will  slow down  production of collagen and elastin– and increase  skin wrinkling.

Conventional wisdom recommends eating shrimp  no more than once a week and I’m going to follow those guidelines.  I’m also going to make sure that my weekly shrimp serving includes other sources of nutrition and stay away from shrimp dishes that add a lot of  fat, sugar and salt–  ( That mean you sweet and sour fried shrimp). 

This is now a favorite way I eat shrimp. I adapted it from a  much more fattening recipes I saw on Emeril.

Ingredients:

*1 pound raw shrimp, peeled

* 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning mix

* 1 1/2 tabespoons of olive oil

* 2 cloves of garlic, slivered

* 1 1/2 pounds of  fresh spinach, washed

1.  Mix shrimp, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the cajun seasoning mix.  Cover and refrigerate for several hours.

2. In a 10 inch non-stick pan, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil and garlic.  When the slivers start to sizzle, dump in the spinach and  toss the leaves in the oil until wilted.  Transfer to a bowl and cover to keep warm.

3.  Wipe out the pan with a paper towel and heat  again.  Toss  in the seasoned shrimp and cook about 2-3 minutes on each side. ( Cooking time depends on the size of the shrimp)

4. To serve, make a nice little mound of spinach on a plate.  Top with a serving of shrimp and add a wedge of warmed whole wheat  pita.  For desert put out a small bowl of raspberries topped with a dollop of non-fat greek yogurt.

This meal  is a powerhouse of anti-aging nutrients.  The shrimp  provide omega-3 fatty acids, the spinach and garlic deliver  impressive amounts of vitamins A and C as well as other antioxidants and there is a whopping 15 grams of fiber  from the raspberries. I love eating like this.  I’m looking forward to hear about your favorite healthy, easy meals  that deliver great taste and nutrition? Anyone know how to make grilled chicken breasts that don’t take like  old cardboard?

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Question– Last week you recommended mussels because they were high in omega 3 fatty acids. How much omega 3 should I be getting?

Answer– I’ve received  several similar questions this week  and it actually took a bit of digging  to find an accurate answer.  Unlike nutrients like vitamin C or minerals like iron, there are no universal standards   to support a recommended daily allowance ( RDA).  Rather  boards of scientists have looked at  different nutritional studies to come up with a number  where they can say  offers health benefits.  In most cases, doctors examined  heart disease trials  to see how much omega 3  is needed to protect against cardiac problems.  Most of the experts established that the daily minimum for  health benefits of omega 3 is about 400mg/day.  At the other end,  they recommended  a maximum of 3000mg og daily omega 3, with no more  then 2ooomg coming from supplements.

In terms of real food,  3 ounces of mussels provides 700mg of omega 3, about two days worth– which is the number behind recommendations of 2-3 servings of  fish a week.   I also have new respect for salmon which has 1,800 mg of omega 3 in a modest 3 ounce portion.  Since  most servings of salmon are more  like 6-8 ounces, a single weekly serving of salmon  more than meets  your omega 3 needs for a week.  Done!

Omega 3 supplements provide 500-  1000mg per capsule and certainly get the job done, but I  am concerned about their  potential contaminents.  Some studies have shown  presence of mercury and PCB’s  ( two known cancer causing agents)  in popular brands of  fish oil capsules.  Omega 3 capsules made from  cod and shark livers  seem to have  the highest levels.  This has led some people to focus on the benefits of omega 3 from tiny fish  like Krill.   Another approach has been to  try  to establish  manufacturing guidelines  such as Certificate of Analysis  or International Fish Oil Standards, but  it gets pretty confusing pretty fast. 

For now I’m going to get the  health and beauty benefits of omega 3  from a couple of  servings of  fish a week. Its safe and delicious and I don’t need a degree in chemistry to make the right choice.

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Its Fashion Flash Monday and this weeks’s host is  Jodell of Black Cat Plus.  Today  she is featuring Simply Silk, an online-label that  has a totally useable collection of simple tunics and pants topped with eye-catching  tops.   The Glam Gals at Fabulous After Forty are exploring  how to wear summer white. I’ve bought several  white pieces, but   felt I looked  huge, like a  nurse or like a huge nurse.  Now I get  it– just add color!  Hot AND exhausted?  Over at Menopause Makeover, Staness offers  great tips on dealing with sleep problems during  menopause. 

Now that bare arms  season is  here for real, I am especially aware of what I eat.  This week, I looked at The South Beach Diet.  I am really impressed by the  design of this plan  for three  key reasons:

1.  It was designed  by a well -respected cardiologist, Dr Arthur  Agatston who  earned his stripes for  important research in invasive cardiology.   It makes me trust his ideas and approach.

2.  Its a low carb diet that  contains all the  things you should eat and none of the sutff you shouldn’t.  Because its low carb you will avoid  the glycation problems that  has been linked to earlier skin wrinkling. 

3. The affordable meals plan can be easily followed both at  home, on the road and in restaurants.    Basically you can stay on the  South Beach Diet  with a rotisserie chicken and salad bar.  Its that  easy. 

There are three  stages to the South Beach Diet.  The first one is a very strict, very low carb plan and I could not stay on it more than two days.   No prob.  Its designed for more rapid weight  loss to motivate  us and  you will still drop pounds on stages two and three.  The low carb, low salt, low cholesterol meals are also packed  with  anti-aging nutrients including anti-aging omega-3 unsaturated fats.  You will more than meet the 5 recommended  servings of fruits and vegetables that  are linked to  younger looking skin.

This diet  meets all  my requirements.  It’s controls heart healthy, controls weight, reduces diabetes risk and follows the NHANES recommendation for  fewer lines and wrinkles.  The original book came  out in  2003.  He has now extended the brand with   cookbooks, with recipes provided  by some of the coolest chefs in South Beach Florida.

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