But that does not necessarily mean you should limit yourself to pickled ginger when you are out for sushi! You can optimize a serving by consuming the pieces that are lowest in mercury content and also packed with the most nutrients, according to Katherine Tallmadge, RD, a nutritionist and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.
There are two types of omega-3s found in fish and seafood: DHA and EPA. All fish and seafood have some amount of these polyunsaturated fatty acids. Both types lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise the “good” cholesterol in the body and decrease risks of heart disease. DHA might provide benefits for those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, and it may help reduce inflammation and even alleviate depression.
According to the American Heart Association, the fish with the most amount of these beneficial fats per serving is salmon, which has .68 to 1.83 grams of omega-3s per three-ounce serving, with .01 parts per million of mercury -- which is among the lowest documented.
It may be rare, but if herring sushi is available on the menu, order it with the salmon. The amount of omega-3s is higher than salmon, with 1.71-1.81 grams per three-ounce serving, and it also has a low .04 parts per million mercury content.
“For calcium, you must eat fish small enough that you can easily eat their bones, which house the essential nutrient,” says Tallmadge. But sardines and anchovies are not necessarily sushi-friendly. Instead, opt for rolls with seaweed, which is chockfull of calcium, to maximize your intake.
The true test is mulling over the à la carte menu and picking the right catches. Here are some general guidelines in making the healthiest choices, piece by piece.
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