Thursday, May 13, 2010

Best & Worst Seafood Dishes in America

When you think seafood, you think “healthy,” right? But because the restaurant chains are fishing for profits, first, their seafood can be your most dangerous catch.

Here’s why: Cooking fish can be a little tricky for home cooks, so people like to order it when they go out. Hey, it’s the healthiest thing on the menu, right? Protein, Omega 3s, lemon juice—bring the whole platter! So Lobster Bib, Inc., can charge a premium price when they load a trash-fish filet with fat-soaked bread crumbs, throw it into a cauldron of bubbling fat, top it with molten cheese and maybe a little cream sauce, and grease its path to your table. Cue the theme music from Jaws: Something deadly is about to rear up from the deep. Only this time, you’re the one who’s swallowing a whopper—seafood’s often-undeserved reputation as a safe pick on the menu. It’s anything but.

As the guy who wrote Eat This, Not That!, I don’t want to ruin a nice meal out for you. There are a lot of great seafood dishes on the menu at even the fishiest of joints. But I don’t want you taken—pardon the cliché—hook, line, and sinker by good entrees gone bad. The average American eats more than 16 pounds of seafood and shellfish a year. Order the right fish—usually they’ll be broiled or poached—and it’s a health boon. Catch the wrong ones, and you’re sunk: Adding pounds of extra weight when you think you’re eating healthy.

So here’s a roundup of the most dangerous fish in an ocean of better possibilities. Truth is, seafood has the potential to be among the healthiest meals you eat—low in fat, high in protein, and brimming with heart-healthy, brain-boosting omega-3 fats. And that’s why, in addition to the seven most horrendous seafood entrees in the country, we’ve also provided their healthier alternatives. Start here and you’ll soon be able to distinguish between a lean fish and a nutritional flounder.

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