The nation’s peak body for dietitians is calling on Australians to dish-up some fish on Good Friday to reduce their risk of dementia, stroke and heart disease.
The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) wants Australians to use the traditionally “fish only” religious holiday as a reminder to eat fish more regularly to improve their long-term health.
According to Lauren McGuckin, Spokesperson for the DAA, fish is highly nutritious and deserves to be on our plates at least twice a week.
“Good Friday is a great excuse to talk about the benefits of eating fish regularly and to discuss the best ways to add it into your weekly meals. There is good research telling us that eating fish once a week reduces our risk of getting dementia, and eating it twice a week reduces our risk of stroke, macular degeneration and heart disease,” said Ms McGuckin, an Accredited Practising Dietitian.
She urges Australians not to limit fish to the evening meal, as it can be included at lunch and even breakfast.
“I often have people asking how they can get enough protein in the morning and smoked salmon or ocean trout is a great addition to an omelette, or on top of toast or savoury pancakes. Canned fish on wholegrain crackers, fish sushi bites or fresh Vietnamese rice paper roles with fish are nutritious lunch options. Tinned varieties of tuna or salmon are a great desk drawer or pantry staple,” said Ms McGuckin.
But this comes with a warning against turning your healthy fish dish into a high-fat takeaway meal by choosing the ‘fish n’ chips’ option.
“Deep frying a piece of fish increases its fat content dramatically because a lot of oil is absorbed by the batter or crumb while it is being cooked,” said Ms McGuckin.
The advice comes as a recent survey, commissioned by DAA, found more than one in ten of us are having takeaway three or more times per week.
“Takeaway fish and chips is a family favourite but save it for the beach holiday. Healthier ways to prepare fish include grilling, steaming, baking or frying in a small amount of oil, and then served with a salad or veggies,” said Ms McGuckin.