Are you on a low-sodium diet or watching your sodium intake? If so, you might be delighted to know that you can still enjoy your favorite seafood dishes!
Fish like salmon, cod, halibut, tuna, flounder and snapper are naturally low in sodium, providing about 40 to 80 mg of sodium per serving. While shellfish naturally contain higher amounts, they are still relatively low in sodium and typically provide fewer than 250 mg per serving – less than the amount of sodium you’ll find in two pieces of bacon. It’s also important to remember that seafood provides a ton of healthy nutrients, such as protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins D and B and selenium, all important nutrients needed throughout your life. Like with all other whole foods, how seafood is prepared and cooked can greatly impact its sodium level.
To help you get your 2 to 3 weekly servings of seafood and meet the sodium level recommendations outlined in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we’ve gathered our best tips and tricks for you below.
- Flavor your seafood with herbs, spices and citrus. If you are watching sodium, skip the salt and and reach for salt-free seasonings instead. Herbs, spices and vinegar, plus the juice and zest from lemons, limes and oranges, can pack a big flavor punch without the need for sodium.
- Focus on healthful cooking methods. Whether ordering seafood in a restaurant or cooking it at home, opt for healthier cooking methods like grilling, steaming, baking and broiling. These methods help retain flavor and moisture, while minimizing any added fat and sodium.
- Go for “whole” and limit “processed.” Fresh seafood is great, if available, but frozen and canned is just as heathy. Just steer clear of (or keep to a minimum) the prepackaged options that are prepared in breading and sauces, which tend to be higher in sodium content.
- Speaking of sauces, you don’t have to totally give up on favorites like tartar, soy, cocktail and ketchup. Just choose lower-sodium varieties or make your own. When dining out, ask for your sauce on the side, so you can control portions.