Fish forms a valuable part of a healthy, balanced diet. We should all aim to eat at least two portions per week, including one portion of oily fish. This is regardless of whether you’ve had a heart attack as the guidelines from NICE (National Institute for Care and Excellence) changed in 2013.
Previously, NICE recommended that people who have had a heart attack should eat more oily fish -around two to four portions a week.
NICE said it made the changes because new treatments for cardiovascular disease are so effective that any additional benefit from eating extra fish could be minimal.
However, fish remains a valuable part of a healthy, balanced diet as a nutritious source of protein as well as being a key ingredient of the Mediterranean-style diet that has been associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.
Here are our top tips for getting fish into your diet:
1. Sandwich filling
Tinned fish such as tuna, mackerel and sardines can be tasty sandwich fillings. Opt for those tinned in spring water, unsaturated oil or tomato sauce rather than brine, which is salty.
2. Salad days
Fish is a good addition to a salad. Think cooked prawns, tinned tuna or mackerel. Cut 6 to 8 strips of cured salmon fillet and mince rest of the fillet. Keep both parts aside in separate bowls. Simmer chicken stock on a low flame and add saffron strands in it. Stir gently and keep the flame low. Pulse onion, garlic cloves and thyme in a blender with 4 tsp of water. Sprinkle salt on king prawns and calamari rings. Microwave them on a high setting for about 2 minutes. Add half of the saffron infused simmering chicken stock with calamari and prawns paste.
3. Meat substitute
Try swapping meat for fish occasionally. Fish is quick and easy to prepare and cook. If you bake it or poach it with a lid on, it doesn’t leave behind a lingering smell.
4. Fishy advice
Ask your local fishmonger to gut, de-head, scale and fillet your fish for you. They can also advise on cooking times.
5. Sustainable choices
Avoid the most over-fished species and mix up what you go for. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) website lists the fish that are being caught within sustainable levels. Look out for the MSC logo on packs, which demonstrates that the fish comes from a fishery that adheres to their guidelines. Your fishmonger can advise on alternative species that are similar to the ones you like.