The Best Seafood for People With Diabetes


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"- Fish Is an Excellent Choice for Type 2 Diabetes:

The Best Seafood for People With Diabetes

Diabetes experts recommend eating fish for cardiovascular health, but if your only experience with fish has been the fried variety or fish sticks, you might be wondering how and why to include fish in your strategy for eating well with diabetes. “It’s a great protein choice, a source of healthy fat, and it contains important vitamins and minerals,” says Cassandra Rico, MPH, RD, associate director of nutrition and medical affairs for the American Diabetes Association. And the best part of all is that "you don’t have to do a whole lot to seafood to make it taste good," she says. "You can add just a few herbs and bake it in the oven. It’s a lot easier to prepare than I think people perceive.” So get to know your local seafood purveyor and make seafood part of your type 2 diabetes diet.

- What to Eat for Type 2 Diabetes: Salmon for Omega-3s:

Salmon is often at the top of the recommended list because it's high in omega-3 fatty acids, the “healthy” fats that may boost your heart, skin, brain, and more. As with most fish, you have a number of options for healthy cooking with diabetes, including poaching, broiling, and baking it in the oven at 350 to 400 degrees, Rico says. “I like to just lightly sauté it if the cut is not too thick, or else grill it — salmon is just delicious grilled.” And it's a firm fish, so it holds up well on the grate. She suggests dill as an herb that goes well with salmon; fresh lemon juice is a nice addition, too.

- What to Eat for Type 2 Diabetes: Tilapia for Protein:

Tilapia is a low-fat, high-protein fish that is fairly easy to find as both a fresh and frozen fillet, and it's even easier to prepare. “I like to sauté tilapia in a pan,” Rico says. Tilapia fillets are often thin, so they cook easily this way (be careful not to overcook them, however, because they’ll start to fall apart). A healthy prep method when you have diabetes is to use a good nonstick pan with just a little cooking spray and maybe a touch of white wine or stock. “Serve fillets with a few healthy sides, like steamed or roasted veggies and brown rice or a whole-wheat roll,” suggests Rico, who also likes a fresh mango or black-bean-and-corn salsa with her fish.

- What to Eat for Type 2 Diabetes: Cod for Grilling:

Like tilapia, cod is a white fish, but it makes a slightly firmer fillet that can withstand more aggressive cooking methods such as grilling, as well as bolder seasoning. It’s important to pay attention to cooking time, Rico says. “The thinner the fillet, the faster it will cook," she notes. "Usually with thicker fillets, you may want to flip them over halfway through cooking.” Consider marinating cod before cooking, giving it time to absorb flavors. But pay attention to the ingredients in any store-bought marinades, and skip those high in salt or sugar".

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