Tip of the Day
Choosing Fresh Fish
Besides being a good source of protein, most seafood is low in fat and saturated fat. In addition, varieties of fatty fish offers potential health benefits from omega-3 fatty acids.
When shopping for fresh fish, keep these things in mind:
- Always buy fish from a reputable source.
- Examine the fish counter and make sure the fresh seafood is properly iced, well refrigerated, in clean display cases and displayed belly-side down on a thick bed of ice that is not melting.
- Check that employees are wearing disposable gloves and are knowledgeable with answers to your questions about the freshness of seafood.
- Be flexible and buy the freshest fish if you don’t need a specific type.
- Know the fat content of various fish. Fish that is firm and darker in color (such as king mackerel, salmon and tuna) tends to have more fat and omega-3 fatty acids (try to eat fatty fish at least twice a week).
- When choosing finfish, such a salmon, trout, tilapia and shellfish – always use your nose. They should have a fresh ocean-breeze scent, not a fish or ammonia-like smell.
- The fish's eyes should be clear and bulge a little. Only a few fish, such as walleye, have naturally cloudy eyes.
- Whole fish and fillets should have firm and shiny flesh. Dull flesh may mean the fish is old. Fresh whole fish also should have bright red gills free from slime.
- If the flesh doesn't spring back when pressed, the fish isn't fresh.
- There should be no darkening around the edges of the fish or brown or yellowish discoloration.
To learn how to incorporate more seafood into your recipes, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist in your area and to learn how to safely handle seafood visit our How to Reduce Foodborne Illness from Seafood page.
Receive the Tip of the Day RSS Feed!
Reviewed May 2013