Compared to salmon, trout and halibut, tilapia might be the most underrated, but most consumed, fish on the planet. If you haven’t tried this versatile, go-to favorite of everyday seafood chefs, here’s why you’re missing out on one of the most nutritious, low-calorie, low-cost options on the table.
Experts agree: Tilapia deserves to be served more often
With recent scientific and news reports on tilapia, it’s easy to be confused about its nutritional value. So we asked registered dietitian, Serena Ball MS, RD at Teaspoon of Spice to give us the skinny and help sort out the facts from the myths.
“Tilapia is an excellent source of high-quality protein that’s very low in fat and calories. It also contains selenium which is an important antioxidant that helps boost cognitive function. Like most seafood, tilapia is a source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.”
There is no need to add additional sodium in the form of soy sauce or salt to Chicken of the Sea’s Tilapia Fillets in Sauce because the flavoring has conveniently already been added. “The sauces are used as dressings and flavorings - thus no additional salt is needed - and the entire dish stays near a healthy range for sodium,” said Ball.
Tilapia’s Top 10 Benefits
- High in protein
- Low in calories
- Rich is potassium
- No carbohydrates
- Low in sodium
- Good source of phosphorus
- High in niacin
- High in selenium
- Excellent source of vitamin B12
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Dismissing the Myths, Fishing Up the Facts
Did you know…
- Studies from “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” have shown that one to two servings of fish per week can reduce risk for coronary heart disease.
- Americans ate 475 million pounds of tilapia in 2010—that’s 4x more than the previous decade according to a 2011 article in the New York Times.
- The American Pregnancy Association encourages pregnant women and children to eat up to 12 ounces of tilapia per week.
- A 2013 CNN iReport showed that tilapia has fewer calories and less fat than salmon (158 calories versus 85 and 7.9g of fat versus 1g).
- According to the SF Chronicle, Seafood Watch upgraded farmed tilapia to a yellow or “good alternative” rating due to improvements in water use.