Fish is an important part of a healthy diet. Oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines, are rich in the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. These omega-3s protect against heart attacks and strokes, play an important role in brain development for infants and young children, and may have beneficial effects on a variety of health conditions, including depression, inflammatory bowel disease, certain types of cancer, and some autoimmune disorders, like rheumatoid arthritis. A recent study found that children who eat more polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3s from seafood, were leaner and had less belly fat than their peers. Finally, fish and other seafood are great sources of protein (as well as micronutrients like vitamin D and selenium), and are low in saturated fat.
What if You’re Pregnant?
Pregnant women are still encouraged to eat 8-12 ounces of a variety of fish every week. The nutritional benefits of fish are important for optimal growth and development of the fetus during pregnancy, during early infancy, and in childhood. However, pregnant women should be careful to choose fish that are lower in mercury, including salmon, shrimp, cod, pollock, tilapia, and tuna (light canned). If you are pregnant, avoid the 4 types of fish that are highest in mercury: tilefish, shark, swordfish, and king mackerel, and limit white (albacore) tuna to 6 ounces per week. Finally, when eating fish caught from streams, rivers, and lakes, pay attention to local fish advisories; if they aren’t available, limit those fish to 6 ounces per week (1-3 ounces for young children).
Worried about sustainability and farmed fish?
First, check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program’s printable consumer guide for Texas (http://www.seafoodwatch.org/seafood-recommendations/consumer-guides). These guides separate seafood into “Best Choices,” “Good Alternatives,” and “What to Avoid,” based on the season and your location. Then, become familiar with your supermarket seafood counter, talk to the clerk, and ask for recommendations. All seafood sold in the U.S. is required to have country-of-origin labels, so it’s easy to find out where your fish came from.
Need some preparation ideas?
To keep your meal lean and flavorful, try broiling, roasting, baking, or grilling seafood. Avoid breading/frying and creamy sauces, as these methods add unnecessary calories and fat. Use herbs, spices, and lemon or lime juice to add flavor without excess salt. And think beyond the simple fish fillet! Try baked salmon patties, a shrimp and vegetable stir-fry, grilled fish tacos, or clams with whole-wheat pasta.
M. Cardel, D. J. Lemas, K. H. Jackson, J. E. Friedman, J. R. Fernandez. Higher Intake of PUFAs Is Associated with Lower Total and Visceral Adiposity and Higher Lean Mass in a Racially Diverse Sample of Children. Journal of Nutrition, 2015; DOI: 10.3945/jn.115.212365
Photo credit: Con Poulos Photography. Woman’s Day Magazine. http://www.womansday.com/food-recipes/food-drinks/a4998/4-family-friendly-fish-recipes-105522/
Pre-screenings ongoing through March 25th!
CTMC Health Fair on April 12th!
Screenings include Basic Screening Panel, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Hemoglobin A1C, Vitamin D, Hepatitis C, Carotid Artery Screening, and Peripheral Arterial Disease. Results will be available at the even on April 12th, or via mail within a week after.
How often should I lift weights?
Repetitions are how many times you perform a certain exercise. A set is a complete round of repetitions. So how many of each do you need? Well, that depends. Generally speaking, lower repetitions using more weight increase muscular strength, which is the ability of a muscle to exert maximum force. Higher repetitions using less weight improve muscular endurance, which is the ability of a muscle to perform an action for an extended period of time. An example of sets/reps for strength training would be 3 sets of 5 reps with heavy weight for a total of 15 repetitions (NSCA 2012). An example of sets/reps for endurance training would be 3 sets of 15 reps with low weight for a total of 45 repetitions (NSCA 2012). When developing a routine, it is important to consider incorporating both strength and endurance training because they both can improve performance in your everyday life.
When deciding how much resistance to use we have a couple of practical tips that you can apply to any type of strength training (be it dumbbells, resistance tubing, weight machines, or various progressions of bodyweight exercises). The RPE, or rate of perceived exertion, scale is designed for you to listen to your body and “feel out” what low, moderate, or high intensity is for you. Likewise, when strength training, it’s important to listen to your body and select a resistance that allows you to complete your desired exercise routine safely and effectively. If you aim to complete 15 repetitions of a selected exercise without rest, you should be able to perform them throughout the full intended range of motion and still have a couple of reps left “in your tank” to ensure that you are maintaining proper form and alignment throughout. If you have some experience under your belt, you may be comfortable working to a slightly higher rate of exertion, whereas beginners may choose to emphasize proper execution of exercises before increasing intensity.
So ask yourself what are your goals? Based on your answer you can emphasize strength training, endurance training, or both. Keep in mind it is essential to train each muscle group at least 2 times a week according to the National Strength and Conditioning Association standards (NSCA 2012).
We offer classes designed to improve muscular fitness, such as Group Personal Training and R.I.P.P.E.D. Many other classes, such as Zumba Toning, Step ‘n’ Sculpt and Cyclone ‘n’ Tone, also incorporate various types of resistance training. For your safety, always check with a physician before beginning a new exercise program. Get fit, stay fit!