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Heart Month – Fish

Heart Month – Fish

Fishing for a Healthy Heart

February is American Heart Month. A healthy diet is a cornerstone in heart health. A meal plan rich in fruits, vegetables and polyunsaturated fats from fatty fish and seed oils is the goal.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating a serving of fish twice a week. A serving is considered 3-4 ounces, about the size of a deck of cards. Although most fish are a lean protein, certain types of fish have the added benefit of containing high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna are the highest in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are not made by the body and are essential … so we have to get them from our food.

It does matter how the fish is prepared. Baking and broiling are the best methods for cooking fish. There are concerns about mercury poisoning in fish, but usually the benefits outweigh the risks. Pregnant and breast feeding women, and children under 12 are advised to avoid eating species of fish that are likely to contain higher levels of mercury. For more detailed information, see Fish 101 on the AHA’s website


Consult your doctor before making changes in your diet. If you have a medical condition, certain items may need to be reduced or eliminated. Seek the advice of your physician and Registered Dietitian before making any changes in your diet or lifestyle. Email questions to

Nutrition Tip: Use low sodium herbs and seasonings for toppings on baked fish.

Cumin-Rubbed Salmon

Serves Four: 3 ounces fish per serving

Baking time: 18-20 minutes


  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 4 salmon fillets (about 4 ounces each)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika

Cooking Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with vegetable oil spray.
  • Rinse the fish and pat dry with paper towels. Place the fish with the smooth side up in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients. Sprinkle on top of the fish. Using your fingertips, gently press the mixture into the fish so it will adhere.
  • Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Nutritional Analysis:

  • Calories – 145 per serving
  • Total fat – 4.5g
  • Sat fat 0.5g
  • Trans fat-0g
  • Polyunsat fat-1.5g
  • Monounsat fat-1.0g
  • Cholesterol 65mg
  • Sodium 230 mg
  • Carbohydrates 0g
  • Protein 25g